Disentangling causation: complex roles of coral-associated microorganisms in disease

Mera, Hanaka, and Bourne, David G. (2018) Disentangling causation: complex roles of coral-associated microorganisms in disease. Environmental Microbiology, 20 (2). pp. 431-449.

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Rapidly changing climate regimes combined with other anthropogenic pressures are implicated in increased disease epizootics among reef building corals, resulting in changing habitat structure. These accumulated stressors directly contribute to disease outbreaks by compromising the coral host immune system, modulating virulence of microbial pathogens and/or disrupting the balance within the microbiome of the holobiont. Disentangling coral disease causation has been challenging, and while progress has been made for certain diseases in terms of the roles the associated microorganisms play, it is evident that like in other marine or terrestrial systems, compromised host health cannot always be attributed to a single causative agent. Here, we summarize the current state in knowledge of microbial induced coral diseases, and discuss challenges and strategies to further disentangle disease causation. With the major environmental pressures coral reefs face over the next century, understanding interactions between host, environmental and microbial causative agent(s) that lead to disease, is still a priority to enable development of effective strategies for building resilience into coral populations.

Item ID: 52739
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1462-2920
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2018 07:37
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3107 Microbiology > 310799 Microbiology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9699 Other Environment > 969999 Environment not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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