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School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-5000
USA

Site designed and maintained by
Bassem Allam

Bassem.Allam@stonybrook.edu

Dr Bassem Allam, Associate Professor

Characterization of the exoskeletal microbial communities and host immune response associated with epizootic shell disease in lobsters

This collaborative project investigates Epizootic Shell Disease (ESD) in lobsters, with the goal of evaluating the relative roles of host’s factors and microbial communities in the development of the disease. Our approach focuses on characterizing the composition of the exoskeletal microbial community of healthy and ESD lobsters using molecular tools from microbial ecology while at the same time assessing the status and response of the lobster’s associated immune system.



Antimicrobial compounds produced by lobster hemocytes are revealed here using a green fluorescent dye


A shell-diseased lobster about to be submitted to blood and shell sampling

We will characterize ESD in lobsters collected from three locations, Eastern Long Island Sound (ELIS) where prevalence is high, Western LIS (WLIS) where prevalence is unexpectedly low, and at a remote reference site (Maine) were prevalence is also low. We will also characterize the temporal progression of ESD development in lobsters collected from ELIS. Through this approach we expect to gain significant insights into the etiology, the development and host responses toward ESD, as well as optimizing tools for the study of crustacean diseases.

This project is a collaboration with Drs Anne McElroy and Gordon Taylor (Stony Brook University). Drs Alistair Dove and Mark Fast (both MADL members) collaborate on the histopathological assessment of disease progression (Dove) and on lobster gene expression in response to the infection (Fast).

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Last update: June 2010