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Long-term affected flat oyster (Ostrea edulis) haemocytes show differential gene expression profiles from naïve oysters in response to Bonamia ostreae

European flat oyster (Ostrea edulis) production has suffered a severe decline due to bonamiosis. The responsible parasite enters in oyster haemocytes, causing an acute inflammatory response frequently leading to death. We used an immune-enriched oligo-microarray to understand the haemocyte response to Bonamia ostreae by comparing expression profiles between naïve (NS) and long-term affected (AS) populations along a time series (1 d, 30 d, 90 d). AS showed a much higher response just after challenge, which might be indicative of selection for resistance. No regulated genes were detected at 30 d in both populations while a notable reactivation was observed at 90 d, suggesting parasite latency during infection. Genes related to extracellular matrix and protease inhibitors, up-regulated in AS, and those related to histones, down-regulated in NS, might play an important role along the infection. Twenty-four candidate genes related to resistance should be further validated for selection programs aimed to control bonamiosis.
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