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Protease inhibitors and haemagglutinins associated with resistance to the protozoan parasite, Perkinsus marinus, in the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 January 2003

B. ROMESTAND
Affiliation:
Défense et Résistance chez les Invertébrés Marins (DRIM), UMR 5098, case 080, Université Montpellier 2, Place Eugène Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier cedex 5, France
F. CORBIER
Affiliation:
Défense et Résistance chez les Invertébrés Marins (DRIM), UMR 5098, case 080, Université Montpellier 2, Place Eugène Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier cedex 5, France
P. ROCH
Affiliation:
Défense et Résistance chez les Invertébrés Marins (DRIM), UMR 5098, case 080, Université Montpellier 2, Place Eugène Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier cedex 5, France

Abstract

Perkinsus marinus is a protozoan responsible for dramatic mortality in the Eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica, but not in the Pacific oyster, C. gigas. To understand the host–parasite relationship, we inoculated P. marinus trophozoïtes into the shell cavity of C. gigas and measured, over 2 months, (i) intensity of infection, (ii) protease inhibitory activities against P. marinus proteases and against bovine α-chymotrypsin, (iii) plasma haemagglutinin titre, (iv) plasma protein concentration, (v) plasma lysozyme activity and (vi) total haemocyte count. We observed that the highest protease inhibitory activities and haemagglutinin titres (3–10 days post-challenge) preceded parasite elimination (initiated 7 days post-challenge). In contrast, plasma protein concentration, lysozyme activity and total haemocyte count showed no significant modification following the challenge. It is hypothesized that the capacity of C. gigas to increase its protease inhibitors represents the key event in resistance to parasite infection by neutralizing the proteases secreted by P. marinus, thus preserving the oyster haemagglutinins from degradation. Such haemagglutinins will be ready to act as opsonins stimulating phagocytosis of parasites.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
2002 Cambridge University Press

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Protease inhibitors and haemagglutinins associated with resistance to the protozoan parasite, Perkinsus marinus, in the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas
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