Pathogenic Bacteria Discovered In Clams

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
1 July 2010, at 1:00am

SPAIN - A team of researchers at the University of Santiago de Compostela(USC) have discovered new bacteria with pathogenic potential in Galician clams.

Over two years, the experts - coordinated by Jesus Lopez Romalde - discovered an incidence of 50 per cent of a bacterium of the Rickettsia strain, that brings about mortality in other molluscs and that only affects the clam.

The USC scientists analysed the DNA of these bacteria and tried to isolate them in the laboratory, since it is not currently possible to work with clam cell cultures in vitro.

The scientists hope to move forward in the characterisation of these bacteria and to learn more about their importance from the pathological point of view, EFE reports.

The next goal is to design strategies to prevent the infection from spreading amongst the populations of Galician clam.

“We have already been working with the populations of Galician clam for six years, and we began the study of the bacterial populations associated with cultivated clams on the first project from 2003 to 2006, and it was then that we saw the prevalence of each one,” Lopez Romalde explained.

"It was in the second phase of the project when they paused in the meticulous study of the rikettsias and oxidising bacteria due to the high degree of incidence that was detected in one area,” the scientist added.

Based on these discoveries, the research will [now] focus on trying to secure clam cells that can be cultivated in vitro, so that once they grow in the laboratory, the perfect characterisation can be made to learn more about their pathogenic potential.