France Project Notice - Exploring The Role Of Copper As As A Driver Of Vibrio Aestuarianus Emergence And Niche Specialisation As An Oyster Pathogen

Project Notice

PNR 62450
Project Name Exploring the role of copper as as a driver of Vibrio aestuarianus emergence and niche specialisation as an oyster pathogen
Project Detail Oceans health is intimately linked to animal and human health in a One Health framework. Marine zoonotic diseases threaten animal and human health and well-being, ecosystem integrity and economic development of marine coastal systems. Coastal waters, where oysters are produced, are low inerty systems highly sensitive to contaminants, which can also accelerate the emergence of epidemics/epizootics and zoonotic diseases in marine ecosystems. Among them, copper is a widespread pollutant that acts as a major selective pressure influencing microorganism survival and evolution as it can be deadly for many bacteria. Vibrio aestuarianus subsp. francensis is an emerging pathogen that threatens European aquaculture since 2011. Recent work revealed that this bacterium is an oyster-restricted specialized pathogen. The IHPE laboratory has evidenced that an intimate relationship between virulence and copper resistance conferred by a pathogenicity island could be key in the adaptation of the subspecies to the oyster host. This proposal aims to evaluate the role of copper resistance in V. aestuarianus francensis adaptation to oyster, and to unveil the copper resistance molecular pathways underlying this key phenotype and infection outcome. Specifically, we will address the following questions: -Is copper resistance required for V. aestuarianus adaptation and virulence to its host? -What is the diversity of V. aestuarianus copper resistance mechanisms? -Does accumulated copper in oyster have an impact in the host-pathogen outcome? By investigating resistance to copper and virulence as interlinked phenotypes of pathogens and its impact on oyster immunity, we will bring knowledge on the way copper influences the pathogens´dynamics, driving their evolution and specialization in marine ecosystems, but also modulating host-pathogen interactions. Ultimately, the project should help shellfish farmers and policy-makers mitigate the effects of anthropogenic pollution on aquaculture services.
Funded By European Union (EU)
Sector BPO
Country France , Western Europe
Project Value EUR 211,755

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