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Gonadal neoplasms in hard shell clams mercenaria spp from the indian river florida usa occurrence prevalence and histopathology


, : Gonadal neoplasms in hard shell clams mercenaria spp from the indian river florida usa occurrence prevalence and histopathology. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 52(3): 436-446

The presence of gonadal neoplasms in hard shell clams Mercenaria spp., from the Indian River, Florida, was investigated over a 2-year period. Histopathological examinations of 1263 clams revealed an annual mean incidence of gonadal neoplasms in 11.6% of the population. Peak prevalences appeared during the summer months. Microscopically, the tumors were seen as proliferations of atypical germ cells arising from the germinal epithelium of the follicles, often completely filling the lumen of both male and female follicles. In one female clam, the neoplastic cells invaded the connective tissue, muscle tissue, and the ground substance of the stomach and typhlosole. Electron microscopy confirmed the germ cell origin but did not reveal any viral particles. This is the first reported occurrence of a neoplastic disease in Mercenaria spp. from the southeastern United States.

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