Antimicrobial Proteins in Crustaceans

  • Valerie J. Smith
  • June R. S. Chisholm
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 484)


Crustacean shellfish along with their molluscan relatives have been an important source of food for humans for much of history. Shells of marine invertebrates have been found littered amongst the remains of primitive cooking utensils uncovered during twentieth century excavations of the neolithic settlements at Skara Brae on the Isle of Orkney, north of Scotland. Shrimps and prawns are listed amongst the crucial ingredients of a rich salty sauce, known as liquamen which was popular in Imperial Rome. They are also known to have been a major source of protein for the early settlers in the Chesapeake Bay area of North America (hence contributing, in a small way, to the colonization of the New World by Europeans) Because of their abundance in the (then) clean waters of coasts and rivers, they have been a cheap and available form of nourishment for many ofthe poor in Britain from mediaeval times through to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Throughout other parts of the world, too, shellfish, have been, and in some countries still are, a prime form of sustenance for impoverished coastal villages and communities, as tragically revealed by the huge degree of human depriva ion caused recently by hurricane damage in Honduras and which destroyed much of the country's small shrimp industry, upon which many thousands of people depended.


Antibacterial Activity Blue Crab Antibacterial Peptide Micrococcus Luteus Antimicrobial Protein 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valerie J. Smith
    • 1
  • June R. S. Chisholm
    • 1
  1. 1.Comparative Immunology GroupGatty Marine Laboratory University of St Andrews FifeScotlandUK

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