What do the terms resistance, tolerance, and resilience mean in the case of Ostrea edulis infected by the haplosporidian parasite Bonamia ostreae

Zoë Holbrook, Tim Bean, Sharon A. Lynch, Chris Hauton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The decline of the European flat oyster Ostrea edulis represents a loss to European coastal economies both in terms of food security and by affecting the Good Environmental Status of the marine environment as set out by the European Council’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC). Restoration of O. edulis habitat is being widely discussed across Europe, addressing key challenges such as the devastating impact of the haplosporidian parasite Bonamia ostreae. The use of resistant, tolerant, or resilient oysters as restoration broodstock has been proposed by restoration practitioners, but the definitions and implications of these superficially familiar terms have yet to be defined and agreed by all stakeholders. This opinion piece considers the challenges of differentiating Bonamia resistance, tolerance, and resilience; challenges which impede the adoption of robust definitions. We argue that, disease-resistance is reduced susceptibility to infection by the parasite, or active suppression of the parasites ability to multiply and proliferate. Disease-tolerance is the retention of fitness and an ability to neutralise the virulence of the parasite. Disease-resilience is the ability to recover from illness and, at population level, tolerance could be interpreted as resilience. We concede that further work is required to resolve practical uncertainty in applying these definitions, and argue for a collaboration of experts to achieve consensus. Failure to act now might result in the future dispersal of this disease into new locations and populations, because robust definitions are important components of regulatory mechanisms that underpin marine management ...
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Invertebrate Pathology
Early online date31 Mar 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Mar 2021

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