Aspects of eco-immunology in molluscs
Keywords:eco-immunology, hemocytes, immune responses, molluscs
There is increasing interest in the international scientific community in eco-immunology, a
relatively new discipline combining the knowledge from immunology, biology, ecology, physiology and biochemistry. The integrative approach of different scientific disciplines provides a useful perspective, mostly from an evolutionary point of view, into the understanding of the basic mechanisms of the immune responses, as well as the complex host-parasite interactions. However, while knowledge concerning factors affecting the immune response is increasing, more efforts should be made to determine the physiological mechanisms that regulate these responses. This need is particularly pressing in investigations in invertebrates because they are model organisms widely used to study the basic mechanisms of innate immunity and to assess environmental health (the immunomarker approach in biomonitoring studies). In this context, this review focuses on some of the ecoimmunology aspects of molluscs.