Effect of in-vitro pesticide exposure on oxidative burst potential of Sydney rock oyster hemocytes

Katrina Mackintosh, Cecile Dang, Andrew Barnes, Timothy Green

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract


Production of Sydney rock oysters (Saccostrea glomerata) has declined in Australia due to outbreaks of QX-disease (Marteilia sydneyi). The disease occurs in estuaries where the catchment has been modified by agriculture or urban activities. Scientific studies have shown that rock oysters are immuno-compromised prior to M. sydneyi infection and rainfall reduces the activity of oxidative enzymes involved in resistance to QX disease. Pesticides found in agriculture rainwater runoff have been suggested as a potential risk factor. The current study investigated sub-lethal concentrations of agricultural pesticides on the oxidative burst potential of S. glomerata hemocytes. Production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by hemocytes in response to agricultural pesticides and a model immunogen (zymosan) was measured using an in-vitro chemiluminescence assay. Atrazine, diuron, chlorpyrifos and carbendazin at concentrations of 5 – 500 μg.mL⁻¹ had no effect on ROS production of S. glomerata hemocytes (p > 0.05). However, exposure of hemocytes to low levels of all pesticides (5 μg.mL⁻¹) and zymosan induced a significant increase in ROS production compared to zymosan controls (p <0.05). These results suggest that when rock oysters are exposed simultaneously to low concentrations of pesticides and pathogens, hemocytes overstimulate ROS production and oxidative damage to host cells could occur.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-529
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Shellfish Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
EventAnnual Meeting National Shellfisheries Association (103rd : 2011) - Baltimore, Maryland
Duration: 27 Mar 201131 Mar 2011


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