Cytotoxic activity by the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis and the Venus clam Chamelea gallina in the Adriatic sea in 2007
Keywords:Mytilus galloprovincialis, Chamelea gallina, mussel, Venus clam, cytotoxicity, immunity, mollusc health
Given the ecological and economic importance of bivalve molluscs, the evaluation of their welfare is
one of the primary aims for both biologists and people working in shell fishing. After a three year-long
period monitoring the cytotoxic activity exerted by the hemolymph from the mussel Mytilus
galloprovincialis, we have concluded that cytotoxicity represents a useful parameter to evaluate the
status of the immune activity and therefore the health of mussels in a specific period of the year.
During 2007, we compared the mussel cytoxicity with that of the Venus clam Chamelea gallina from
contiguous areas of the Northern Adriatic Sea. Our observations indicate that the cytotoxicity of the
hemolymph of the two species follows a similar course during the year, suggesting that cytotoxic
activity is primarily determined by the life/reproductive cycles.