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Parasite co-infection of two sympatric bivalves, the Manila clam (Ruditapes philippinarum) and the cockle (Cerastoderma edule) along a latitudinal gradient

Abstract : Among the potential biotic factors affecting population dynamics, parasitism has received relatively little attention. The purpose of this study was to inventory marine bivalve parasites and to investigate relations between different parasite communities. Five intertidal stations along the French Atlantic shore were studied between Brittany and Arcachon Bay. Two bivalves (the edible cockle, Cerastoderma edule, and the Manila clam, Ruditapes philippinarum) were sampled and examined. The parasites included a bacterium (Vibrio tapetis), a protozoan (Perkinsus sp.), and digenetic trematode metacercariae (10 species). Perkinsus sp. prevalence and density in clams were higher than those measured in cockles (30 250 vs. 36 cells g−1 of gill wet weight, respectively) while digeneans were more common in cockles (46 metacercariae per cockle host vs. 1 per clam host). Distributions of digeneans and Perkinsus sp. were similar along the Atlantic shore. However, at each sampling station and at the individual scale, no correlation between Perkinsus sp. and digenean abundance was detected. These results suggest different ecological niches used by these two parasites within a community of bivalves but a similar response to environmental factors such as temperature and salinity. Vibrio tapetis was found at relatively high prevalence in all stations for both bivalve species (from 17% to 43% in cockles and from 23% to 50% in clams), but was associated with a low prevalence of Brown Ring Disease (BRD), a shell disease caused by this pathogen. No statistically significant relationship of these parasitic bacteria with trematodes and Perkinsus sp. was evidenced in the present study.
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Géraldine Lassalle, Xavier de Montaudouin, Philippe Soudant, Christine Paillard. Parasite co-infection of two sympatric bivalves, the Manila clam (Ruditapes philippinarum) and the cockle (Cerastoderma edule) along a latitudinal gradient. Aquatic Living Resources, EDP Sciences, 2007, 20, pp.33-42. ⟨10.1051/alr:2007013⟩. ⟨hal-00645736⟩

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