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Abstract

Abstract

Despite progress in the past decade, researchers struggle to evaluate the hypothesis that environmental conditions compromise immunity and facilitate new disease outbreaks. In this chapter, we review known immunological mechanisms for selected phyla and find that there are critical response pathways common to all invertebrates. These include the prophenoloxidase pathway, wandering phagocytic cells, cytotoxic effector responses, and antimicrobial compounds. To demonstrate the links between immunity and the environment, we summarize mechanisms by which immunity is compromised by environmental conditions. New environmental challenges may promote emergent disease both through compromised host immunity and introduction of new pathogens. Such challenges include changing climate, polluted environment, anthropogenically facilitated pathogen invasion, and an increase in aquaculture. The consequences of these environmental issues already manifest themselves as increased mortality on coral reefs, pathogen range expansion, and transmission of disease from aquaculture to natural populations, as we summarize in a final section on recent marine epizootics.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.37.091305.110103
2006-12-01
2024-06-14
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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