The of antimicrobial substances that preferably are of


The marine environment is a vast source of yet to be
discovered bioactive compounds having the potential to become cure to various
and alarming bacterial diseases. One of the potential sources for such
substances is the rich fauna of seas and oceans including the brackish waters
of estuaries where mangrove habitats are situated. Endeavors for the search of
antimicrobial substances that preferably are of natural sources, like those
found in the aquatic environment, is a result of the disturbing reports of the
rising antibiotic resistance among pathogenic microbes (Argente et al., 2015;
Sharma et al., 2009). This is due to the ability of such microbes to transform
into resistant strains or, possibly, due to evolution as a means to counter the
detrimental effects of antibiotics. This poses great threat to the human
populace and, at the same time, opens the opportunity to also have a striking
development on the previously existing antibiotic drugs in aiming to
efficaciously counter the growing issue of antibiotic resistance of microbes.
With this, researchers put much effort in searching for novel substances that
could give solution to the problem of antibiotic resistant microbes.

            Organisms
in the marine environment are always in contact with pathogenic microbes with
different levels of virulence as their habitat is a microbe-rich environment
(Sathyan et al., 2014). Mangrove ecosystems, which are extended parts of the
marine environment, are also a well-known habitat that can harbor various
pathogenic organisms (Argente et al., 2015). One such inhabitant of mangroves
is the Polymesoda sp. whose
filter-feeding habit causes it to accumulate strains of pathogenic microbes
along with the food that they ingest. Different types of viruses are also
reported to have been observed in the tissues of marine mollusks including
iridovirus, Herpes virus, plague virus, echo, coxsackie and reo. Moreover,
there have also been reports of the presence of a human pathogen, the Hepatitis
A virus, in the tissues of marine mollusks (Chatterji, 2002). This implies that
other organisms inhabiting these areas are living with the daily high risk of
possibly acquiring a certain disease from these microbes. On the other hand,
this could also mean that these organisms must have a certain defense against
pathogens allowing them to inhabit the mangroves. Extracting these certain
substances would allow them to be tested against pathogens and reveal if they
could become potential medicine.

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            According
to Ramasamy and Balasubramanian (2014), there are a lot of various bioactive
substances from the marine environment that are being isolated and characterized.
These compounds are being studied further on a global scale for their
prospective contributions to treating human diseases. Marine bivalves are
identified to be one of the various sources of potential anti-viral (Chatterji
et al., 2002), antibacterial and antifungal (Argente and Ilano, 2015) bioactive
compounds. Certain species of mud clams were included in some of these studies
and were found to exhibit antimicrobial activity against tested microorganisms.
P. erosaand P. expansa, which are common bivalves, are one of the most
well-known species to possess antimicrobial properties against a wide range of
pathogenic microorganisms. Mollusks, including bivalves, are no exception in
lacking a specific adaptive immunity. Therefore, they depend entirely on innate
immunity such as their cellular and humoral immunity to escalate their defenses
(Sathyan et al., 2014). Innate immunity is also immediately triggered upon
infection of a certain microbe (Sharma et al., 2009). They produce special
types of antibodies when they get penetrated by virulent organisms, usually
viruses, to fight against them (Chatterji, 2002). The bioactive substances that
they can produce are therefore self-derived and not due to symbiotic
relationships with other organisms such as bacteria or fungi. In some cases of
symbiotic relations, the bacteria or the fungi living within another organism
produces the bioactive compound. But as mentioned earlier, mollusks depend
primarily on innate immunity. It is their own body that synthesizes these
compounds, which could, possibly, be never found in other organisms. 

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