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Contagious cancer spreads through seaports

Contagious cancer spreads through seaports

A recent study showed that seaports could be epidemic hotspots for the spread of a contagious cancer affecting mussels.

French researchers from the National Center for Scientific Research and the University of Montpellier analyzed 76 collections of mussels from the Vendée coast and southern Brittany in different natural or artificial environments, the specialized magazine “Geo” reported on Wednesday.

The results of the study published in the journal “Proceedings of the Royal Society B” showed that the incidence of transmissible cancer is higher in seaports, which will therefore be hotspots for the spread of the disease.

“If in nature infection is effective only between individuals of the same school, then ports and sea transport encourage its spread between individuals of different schools, through the movement of diseased mussels attached to boat hulls,” the researchers summarized.

Scientists recommend policies to regulate “biofouling,” which can be summed up as the attachment of marine organisms to ships, which is the only way for them to reduce the spread of cancer and maintain the health of coastal ecosystems.

“Although biofouling management has been established for international trade purposes, regulations for controlling biofouling in domestic recreational boats still need to be improved,” the study recommended.

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