Category Archives: Vibrio

RASFF Alert – Vibrio parahaemolyticus – Frozen Raw Shrimps

RASFFEuropean Food Alerts

Vibrio parahaemolyticus (in 4 out of 5 samples /25g) in frozen raw shrimps (Penaeus vannamei) from Vietnam, via the Czech Republic in Slovakia

USA – Florida Vibrio vulnificus tally this year tops 2019

Outbreak News Today


Florida state health officials have reported more Vibrio vulnificus cases and deaths than this year than was reported in 2019, according to the latest data.

Vibrio vulnificus can cause disease in those who eat contaminated seafood or have an open wound that is exposed to warm seawater containing the bacteria. Ingestion of Vibrio vulnificus can cause vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Vibrio vulnificus can also cause an infection of the skin when open wounds are exposed to warm seawater; these infections may lead to skin breakdown and ulcers.

Research – Effect of Ploidy on Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus Levels in Cultured Oysters

Journal of Food Protection

Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus are naturally occurring human pathogenic bacteria commonly found in estuarine environments where oysters are cultured. The use of triploid oysters has increased due to their rapid growth rate and because they maintain a high quality throughout the year. Previous work suggested levels of Vibrio spp. may be lower in triploid oysters than diploid oysters. Therefore, this study aimed to determine whether there is a difference in the abundances of V. parahaemolyticus and V. vulnificus between half-sibling diploid and triploid American oysters (Crassostrea virginica). In four trials, 100 individual oysters (either iced or temperature abused) were analyzed for V. parahaemolyticus and V. vulnificus by using direct plating followed by colony hybridization. Mean levels of V. parahaemolyticus in iced and abused diploid oysters were 3.55 and 4.21 log CFU/g, respectively. Mean levels in iced and abused triploid oysters were 3.49 and 4.27 log CFU/g, respectively. Mean levels of V. vulnificus in iced and abused diploid oysters were 3.53 and 4.56 log CFU/g, respectively. Mean levels in iced and abused triploid oysters were 3.54 and 4.55 log CFU/g, respectively. The differences in Vibrio spp. abundances between diploid and triploid oysters was not significant (P > 0.05). However, the differences across treatments were significant (P < 0.05), with the exception of V. parahaemolyticus levels in trial 3 (P = 0.83). Variation between individual oysters was also observed, with 12 of 808 measurements being outside of the 95th percentile. This phenomenon of occasional statistical outliers (“hot” or “cold” oysters) has been previously described and supports the appropriateness of composite sampling to account for inherent animal variability. In summary, the data indicate that abundances of V. parahaemolyticus and V. vulnificus are not dependent on the ploidy of cultured oysters but vary with the type of handling.

  • Vibrio spp. abundances in oysters are not dependent on ploidy.
  • Vibrio spp. abundances in oysters are dependent on handling treatment.
  • Identification of occasional “hot” or “cold” oysters supports composite sampling.

Canada – N.B. declares outbreak of shellfish bacteria causing gastrointestinal illness – Vibrio parahaemolyticus

Global News CA

Food Illness - Vibrio

Image CDC

New Brunswick health officials have declared an outbreak of vibrio parahaemolyticus, a bacteria found in shellfish that causes gastrointestinal illness in humans.

The province says nine cases of vibrio have been confirmed. The average for New Brunswick is typically only two to three cases a year.

“I am advising all New Brunswickers to ensure that they obtain shellfish and other seafood from a licensed establishment or harvest shellfish from fishing zones which are currently open by Fisheries and Oceans Canada,” said N.B. chief of health Dr. Jennifer Russell in a news release.

USA – Vibrio Vulnificus in Connecticut: Unusual number of infections prompt warning

Outbreak News today

Food Illness

Connecticut state health officials have issued a warning for the public in shoreline areas about the potential dangers of exposure to salt or brackish water along Long Island Sound, due to an unusually high number of Vibrio vulnificus infections.

Since July, five cases of Vibrio vulnificus infections have been reported to the Department of Public Health (one infection in July, four in August).  The patients are from Fairfield (1), Middlesex (1), and New Haven (3) counties and are between 49 – 85 years of age (median 73); 4 are male, 1 female.

Two patients had septicemia (infection of the bloodstream) and three had serious wound infections. All five cases patients were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

All five cases reported exposure to salt or brackish water during activities such as swimming, crabbing, and boating.  All five patients had pre-existing wounds or sustained new wounds during these activities which led to the Vibrio infections.

South Korea – Increase in Vibrio vulnificus Cases

Outbreak News today


The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) has reported an increase in Vibrio vulnificus infections in the first eight months of 2020.

Epidemiological investigations of five patients who died from Vibrio vulnificus infection found that all of them were at high risk for the illness, with underlying conditions such as alcoholism, diabetes and liver disease, The Korea Times reports.

Vibrio vulnificus can cause disease in those who eat contaminated seafood or have an open wound that is exposed to warm seawater containing the bacteria. Ingestion of Vibrio vulnificus can cause vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Vibrio vulnificus can also cause an infection of the skin when open wounds are exposed to warm seawater; these infections may lead to skin breakdown and ulcers.

China – Durian grabbed from sunken vessel sicken 523 Guangxi villagers – Vibrio parahaemolyticus

The Standard

Food Illness

A total of 523 Chinese villagers suffered from food poisoning symptoms after eating durian from a capsized cargo ship in Guangxi on August 26, the local disease control center announced on Tuesday, the state media said.

A later investigation showed that they were infected with vibrio parahaemolyticus bacterium, which, when ingested, causes gastrointestinal illness in humans, and was probably caused by the durian becoming contaminated by sea water.
An announcement from the local government on August 27 said 101 of the villagers suffered from abdominal pains, diarrhea and vomiting while others only displayed mild symptoms. Nine people are currently in hospital,
Video clips circulating online showed the villagers rushing to the sea to try and recover durian floating on the sea water’s surface, after a cargo ship loaded with durian overturned around 200 meters away from the coast of Dongxing in Guangxi on August 26.
Local authorities tried to stop the villagers, but they still managed to recover some durian.
More common in the sea, vibrio parahaemolyticus bacterium is a microorganism that favors salty food, and is commonly found in food poisoning cases in coastal areas in the summer and autumn months, Guangxi Center for Disease Prevention and Control said.
It often lurks in fish, shrimp, crab, shellfish and other seafood, and occasionally spreads through salted products like pickles, seasoned meats and salted eggs. It is suspected the durian, soaked in sea water, could have been contaminated with the microorganism.
Experts said the incubation period for those infected with the bacterium ranges from 1 hour to 4 days, but lasts 10 hours in most cases. The symptoms resulting from its ingestion start quickly, and include chills, abdominal pains, nausea and vomiting, followed by fever, diarrhea, and watery or bloody stool.

Research – Predicting Cholera Risk in Yemen

Earth Observatory

CDC Vibrio

Image CDC

This story is adapted from our recent feature, Of Mosquitoes and Models: Tracking Disease by Satellite.

In 2017, Yemen experienced one of its worst cholera outbreaks on record. Following heavy rains, flooding, and mass movement of the population due to civil unrest, more than one million people were suspected of contracting cholera and at least 2,000 died. A few scientists saw it coming, and they are now working to make sure people are prepared for future cholera outbreaks in Yemen and around the world.

Cholera is a waterborne bacterial infection that can spread quickly through a population. The disease is primarily contracted by consuming water or food contaminated with the cholera bacteria, Vibrio cholerae. It causes uncontrollable diarrhea that, if left untreated, can result in dehydration or death.

A team of NASA-funded researchers has been using satellite and ground-based data to forecast the risk of cholera in Yemen and other countries. The map above shows the forecasted risk of cholera in Yemen from August 10 to September 6, 2020. It was created with the Cholera Prediction Modeling System, which incorporates NASA precipitation data, air temperature data from NASA’s MERRA-2 reanalysis product, and population data. The number of cholera cases could increase in coming weeks, influenced by heavy rains that usually fall in August, though researchers predict the outbreaks should be limited to a few hotspots unless there is a large population displacement.

Research – Synergistic antibacterial effect of nisin, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, and sulfite on native microflora of fresh white shrimp during ice storage

Wiley Online

This study aims to investigate the effectiveness of using nisin, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), and sulfite alone or in combination in reducing Vibrio parahaemolyticus Salmonella enterica , and Pseudomonas fluorescens in broth and native microflora on raw Pacific white shrimp during ice storage. Nisin (50 ppm), EDTA (20 mM), alone or in combination were used to test on the growth of parahaemolyticus enterica , and fluorescens in broth. Nisin (50 ppm), EDTA (20 mM), sodium metabisulfite (1.25 and 0.625%), ice; alone or in combination were used on shrimps during 1°C storage for 10 days. Microbial and chemical changes were analyzed during shrimp storage. First, the combination of nisin and EDTA exhibited antibacterial effects against parahaemolyticus enterica , and fluorescens in broth. Second, in shrimp preservation, the combination of nisin, EDTA, and sulfite at a low dose of 0.625% exhibited higher antimicrobial activity than did a high dose of sulfite (1.25%). Based on aerobic bacteria counts, psychrotrophic bacteria, and TVB‐N, shrimp treatment with combination of nisin, EDTA, and low‐dose sulfite were still acceptable within 10 days of storage. Based on our findings, nisin and EDTA can be used to reduce uses of sulfite for shrimp preservation in the future.

Borneo – Alert in Brunei as Sabah reports 43 cholera cases

Borneo Bulletin 

According to the Ministry of Health (MoH), the Malaysian Ministry of Health has reported 43 cholera cases in several areas in Sabah since January 2020 until now.

Continuous monitoring by the MoH showed no cases of cholera detected in Brunei Darussalam. Cholera is an intestinal infection caused by the ‘vibrio cholera’ virus that spreads through contaminated food and water. The main symptom is diarrhoea. Other symptoms include vomiting and abdominal pain. Severe cholera infection can lead to dehydration and death, if left untreated.