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A theoretical individual-based model of Brown Ring Disease in Manila clams, Venerupis philippinarum

Abstract : An individual-based mathematical model was developed to investigate the biological and environmental interactions that influence the prevalence and intensity of Brown Ring Disease (BRD), a disease, caused by the bacterial pathogen, Vibrio tapetis, in the Manila clam (Venerupis (=Tapes, =Ruditapes) philippinarum). V. tapetis acts as an external microparasite, adhering at the surface of the mantle edge and its secretion, the periostracal lamina, causing the symptomatic brown deposit. Brown Ring Disease is atypical in that it leaves a shell scar that provides a unique tool for diagnosis of either live or dead clams. The model was formulated using laboratory and field measurements of BRD development in Manila clams, physiological responses of the clam to the pathogen, and the physiology of V. tapetis, as well as theoretical understanding of bacterial disease progression in marine shellfish. The simulation results obtained for an individual Manila clam were expanded to cohorts and populations using a probability distribution that prescribed a range of variability for parameters in a three dimensional framework; assimilation rate, clam hemocyte activity rate (the number of bacteria ingested per hemocyte per day), and clam calcification rate (a measure of the ability to recover by covering over the symptomatic brown ring deposit), which sensitivity studies indicated to be processes important in determining BRD prevalence and intensity. This approach allows concurrent simulation of individuals with a variety of different physiological capabilities (phenotypes) and hence by implication differing genotypic composition. Different combinations of the three variables provide robust estimates for the fate of individuals with particular characteristics in a population that consists of mixtures of all possible combinations. The BRD model was implemented using environmental observations from sites in Brittany, France, where Manila clams routinely exhibit BRD signs. The simulated annual cycle of BRD prevalence and intensity agrees with observed disease cycles in cultured clam populations from this region, with maximum disease prevalence and intensity occurring from December to April. Sensitivity analyses of modeled physiological processes showed that the level of hemocyte activity is the primary intrinsic determinant of recovery of infected clams. Simulations designed to investigate environmental effects on BRD suggested that the outcome of the host-parasite interaction is dependent on food supply (high values being favorable for the host) and temperature. Results of simulations illustrate the complex interaction of temperature effects on propagation and viability of the bacterium, on the phagocytic activity of the hemocytes, and on other physiological processes of the host clam. Simulations using 1 degrees C and 2 degrees C increases in temperature generally favored disease development, indicating that climate warming might favor the spread of BRD.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - 10:22:17 AM
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Christine Paillard, Fred Jean, Susan Ford, Eric N. Powell, John Klinck, et al.. A theoretical individual-based model of Brown Ring Disease in Manila clams, Venerupis philippinarum. Journal of Sea Research, Elsevier, 2014, 91, pp.15-34. ⟨10.1016/j.seares.2014.03.005⟩. ⟨hal-01056541⟩

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