Tuesday, August 05, 2008
A herpes virus is killing young oysters in France because they have spent too much energy developing their sexual organs rather than their natural defenses, an oyster crisis team has found.
notes in the comments, "It all goes back to Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Nothin' trumps a scorching case of herpes."]
Labels: Food, oyster
What's the difference between sexual organs and natural defenses? I frequently "throw my bone out there" to protect myself from ornery shell fish. Live clams can be frightening. Those bastards are scary.
It all goes back to Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Nothin' trumps a scorching case of herpes.
I thought you found herpes in clams, not oysters.
As a herpesvirologist, I'm honestly a bit speechless. I'm not so sure about the differential utilization of energy for sexual organ development as there didn't seem to be enough evidence for that hypothesis. It seemed circumstantial. It does appears to me, however, that in the absence of sustainable pressure through the continued exposure to naturally occurring pathogenic herpesviruses, the oysters have lost their ability to recognize a herpesvirus infection and mount a suitable response to control its replication in the host. This virus could also be new to this population of oysters. I'd suspect the oyster populations will recover over time as surviving oysters will pass on their immunological advantage (And some will survive, although we're never sure why certain individuals within a species are better suited than others for this task) to allow future generations to co-exist with the virus.
I have no problem eating crow on this if I'm wrong.
BTW Oyster, when was the last time you've seen a physician for herpes?
I haven't seen a physician about herpes in recent memory. I treat the outbreaks with flea soap and scrubbing. Oh, wait, that's for crabs.