"Marine Disease" theme issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B
Compiled and edited by Kevin D. Lafferty and Eileen E. Hofmann
The theme issue starts by focusing on how diseases impact marine organisms and populations. Guo et al. review how marine diseases interact with the surprisingly sophisticated molluscan innate immune system, with an emphasis on how coevolved resistance degrades when animals (and their diseases) invade new regions. Eisenlord et al. investigate the role of temperature in the sea star wasting disease epizootic and the crash of sea stars following the outbreak. Groner et al. conclude this topic by synthesizing marine epizootic mathematical models, with a focus on sea louse–salmon interactions. Diagnosis is often a challenge for new marine diseases; a point made by Sutherland et al. about how the cause of coral white pox disease has been a moving target for two decades, with more than one infectious agent to blame. Carnegie et al. consider the critical role of diagnostics for effective disease policy and management, emphasizing classical histology. As a counterpoint, Burge et al. are optimistic that modern tools add to the diagnostic tool kit, synthesizing new approaches for the reader and comparing modern and complementary classic techniques. For diseases with strong environmental drivers, forecasting might be possible. Froelich et al. describe how risk management systems, such as for keeping seafood consumers safe from vibrio diseases, are ageing and not consistent with modern techniques and data. Maynard et al. review temperature-sensitive marine diseases for which sea temperature monitoring might provide useful near-term forecasts and for which long-term projections are possible. Ben-Horin et al. model the conditions under which fishing infected abalone can help reduce disease and improve yield. Lamb et al. show that protecting corals from damage associated with fishing activities can have similar benefits. Pernet et al. identify knowledge gaps and research that are necessary for managing disease in farmed bivalves and propose a multidisciplinary research framework to improve disease risk management. The need for effective communication with public and policy-makers to addresses marine disease issues is the focus of Schuldt et al., who suggest how to communicate in ways that lead to effective policy. Groner et al. conclude the theme issue with a synthesis that emphasizes the need to diagnose new diseases and determine if they have population-level impacts under various management scenarios and how these could be facilitated by appropriate policy.