Induction of Internal Defense Mechanisms in the Lobster, Homarus americanus

  • James E. Stewart
  • B. M. Zwicker


Invertebrates in general have the following nonspecific, hemolymph defense mechanisms: (1) bactericidal activity, (2) agglutinin activity, and (3) phagocytic activity which were recently reviewed in depth by Sindermann (1971) for the crustaceans. The overall effectiveness of these mechanisms in nature, together with mechanical barriers to transmission and possibly other intrinsic defenses can be judged only by the limited data available on epizootics occurring among natural stocks. Apparently, the effectiveness is high since more or less constant exposure to relatively large numbers of different microorganisms does not appear to result in epizootics until the exposure includes an infectious agent uniquely suited to overcome the invertebrate’s defenses. In this, the invertebrates compare favorably with other animals.


Bactericidal Activity Spiny Lobster Host Body Avirulent Strain American Lobster 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • James E. Stewart
    • 1
  • B. M. Zwicker
    • 1
  1. 1.Fisheries Research Board of CanadaHalifax LaboratoryHalifaxCanada

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