Meeting Abstract

P1.12  Wednesday, Jan. 4  Initiation of hemic neoplasia in the soft-shell clam Mya arenaria – Evidence of Viral Disease Etiology? TARASKA, NG*; BOETTGER, SA; West Chester University of Pennsylvania; West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Hemic neoplasia, a diffuse tumor of the hemolymph system, is one of the six most destructive diseases among bivalve mollusks populations, characterized by the development of abnormal, rounded blood cells that actively proliferate and become immortalized. Though the specific etiology of hemic neoplasia in Mya arenaria remains undetermined, the involvement of viral pathogens and/or environmental pollutants has been suggested and considered. In this study we are using 5-bromodeoxyuridine (BrDU) known to induce a murine leukemia virus and injection of filtered neoplastic hemolymph in order to initiate hemic neoplasia. Mya arenaria from three locations of different neoplasia occurrences were divided into control and experimental treatments injected with 200µl of sterile filtered seawater, 50µg/ml, 100μg/ml or 200μg/ml BrDU respectively. Animals from different size classes were also injected with 2.5% total blood volume of 0.2micron filtered blood from a fully neoplastic animal. Animals were biopsied weekly and development of neoplastic cells counted and recorded on a scale of 1-4 (4 = terminal stage of the disease). These experiments further indicate that neoplasia development in controlled environments is due to viral disease induction in controlled environments, though no viruses have been identified in this study.