Infectious diseases in oyster aquaculture require a new integrated approach.
Emerging diseases pose a recurrent threat to bivalve aquaculture. Recently, massive mortality events in the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas associated with the detection of a microvariant of the ostreid herpesvirus 1 (OsHV-1 µVar) have been reported in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Although the spread of disease is often viewed as a governance failure, we suggest that the development of protective measures for bivalve farming is presently held back by the lack of key scientific knowledge. In this paper, we explore the case for an integrated approach to study the management of bivalve disease, using OsHV-1 as a case study. Reconsidering the key issues by incorporating multidisciplinary science could provide a holistic understanding of OsHV-1 and increase the benefit of research to policymakers.