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Emerging diseases in organisms of aquaculture interest : some scenarios illustrated with examples

INRA Prod. Anim., 20(3), 207-212.


IFREMER, Génétique et Pathologie, F-17390 La Tremblade, France


According to the world organisation for animal health (OIE) an emerging disease is defined as a recently admitted serious illness, whose aetiology can, or not, have already been established, and which is likely to be propagated within a population or between populations, for example at the time of international exchanges of aquatic animals and/or products of aquatic animals. Even though the emerging diseases that affect human health have been much studied, those which affect marine organisms and species of aquaculture interest in particular are poorly documented. By restricting emergence to only infectious diseases, we aim at presenting in a non-exhaustive way some scena-rios of the emergence of the diseases of aquacultured species by illustrating them with three examples available in the scientific literature : one relating to the appearance of a pathogenic agent in a new host with the case of the herpesvirus of the Koï carp, the other with the evolution of a pre-existing pathogenic agent with the case of shrimp vibriosis due to Vibrio nigripulchritudo in New Caledonia, and the last example relating to the introduction of one pathogenic pre-existing pathogen in an unscathed area with the case of Bonamia ostreae infec-ting the flat oyster Ostrea edulis. The causes of the emergence of diseases are multiple and implicate in an intercurrent way pathogenic agents, the environment, the host or host species and anthropogenic factors. In the marine environment, these causes are very often ignored. In this context, the development of zoosanitary surveillance networks and diagnostic tools present a considerable interest in order to anticipate, prevent and/or intervene on the emergence of the diseases by limiting their sanitary, ecological and political consequences.

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