Jenifer Welsh is a marine ecologist from the Royal Dutch Research Institute. She has recently discovered that sea animals can remove bacteria viruses from the water. Her study is a significant chapter of aquaculture.
In her thesis for the University of Vrije, Jenifer Welsh underlined the connection between viruses and marine animals. Later on, her research was published in the Nature Scientific Reports. The process is straightforward: the virus infects a cell and makes use of the host cell to infect others. The analysis states that viruses are removed when marine animals filter the nutrients and the oxygen from the water.
Even though the bacteria spread very quickly, they can be nourishment for other animals living in the water. The clams filter the marine water to obtain oxygen, bacteria, and algae from the sea. In the meantime, oysters take only oxygen from the water, rather than nutrients.
Sea animals can fight viruses in the water, the new study revealed
The marine ecologist has thoroughly analyzed the impact oysters have on the spreading of viruses. After several tests, she concluded that oysters remove 12% of the bacteria in the marine water. Even though it is a critical percentage, the oysters are positioned in the 4th place when it comes to the animals that contribute to diminish the bacteria.
Sponges, mussels, and crabs showed the most remarkable percentage. Every three hours, the sponges managed to diminish bacteria by 94%. Additionally, their effectiveness was not affected when the researchers started adding new viruses in the marine environment every 20 minutes.
Jennifer Welsh’s discovery gives researchers an insight into the behavior of individual marine animals in their natural habitat. Nonetheless, this research does not guarantee that the same success rate applies when the animals are by themselves surrounded by natural conditions. This discovery underlines which techniques should be used when speaking of aquaculture.