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Abstract

Annelids are among the first coelomates and are therefore of special phylogenetic interest. They constitute an important part of the biomass of the seashore, estuaries, fresh water and terrestrial soils. Moreover, they occupy a central position in the trophic networks, as a major food source for fishes, birds and terrestrial fauna. Among Annelids, the large majority of polychaetes is restricted to the marine domain. This report gives an overview of the immune strategies developed by polychaetes to fight pathogens. The potential and interest to use these worms as biomarkers to monitor the influence of environmental perturbation on the immunity of marine organisms is discussed.

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