Category Archives: Vibrio

USA – Florida reports 10 Vibrio vulnificus cases year-to-date

Outbreak News Today

CDC Vibrio

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Florida state health officials have reported 10 confirmed Vibrio vulnificus cases through July 12, according to the latest data.

Cases have been confirmed in the following counties: Broward, Charlotte, Hillsborough, Manatee, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco and Pinellas (3).

No deaths have been reported.

In 2018, health officials saw 42 confirmed cases and nine fatalities.

People can get infected with Vibrio vulnificus when they eat raw shellfish, particularly oysters. The bacterium is frequently isolated from oysters and other shellfish in warm coastal waters during the summer months. Since it is naturally found in warm marine waters, people with open wounds can be exposed to Vibrio vulnificus through direct contact with seawater. There is no evidence of person-to-person transmission of Vibrio vulnificus.

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.

USA – Vibrio vulnificus, ‘Flesh-eating bacteria’ cases, reported in Maryland, Florida

Outbreak News Today Vibrio_vulnificus_01

After a young boy was infected with Vibrio, a type of flesh-eating bacteria recently near Ocean City, health officials say this case is rare and local waterways are still safe to swim in.

The boy’s mother, Brittany Carey, described what happened to her son in a June 29 Facebook post. According to Carey, her son was swimming in the Sinepuxent Bay just north of the Harry Kelley Memorial Bridge between West Ocean City and downtown.

USA – Multistate Outbreak of Gastrointestinal Illnesses Linked to Oysters Imported from Mexico is Over


Photo of oysters.

Image CDC

This outbreak appears to be over. Consumers, restaurants, and retailers should always handle and cook oysters properly. Get CDC’s tips for preventing foodborne illness from oysters and other shellfish.

Final Outbreak Information
Illustration of a megaphone.
  • As of June 21, 2019, this outbreak appears to be over.
  • Sixteen ill people were reported from five states.
    • Illnesses started on dates ranging from December 16, 2018, through April 17, 2019.
    • Two people were hospitalized. No deaths were reported.
  • Laboratory testing on samples from patients identified multiple pathogens causing infections. Some people were infected with more than one pathogen.
  • Case counts by pathogen or illness:
    • Four cases of Shigella flexneri infection
    • Two cases of Vibrio parahaemolyticus infection
    • One case of Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) non-O157 coinfection
    • One case of Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Shigella flexneri coinfection
    • One case of Shigella flexneri and Campylobacter lari coinfection
    • One case of Vibrio albensis infection
    • One case of norovirus genogroup 1 infection
    • One case of infection with Vibrio of unknown species
    • Four cases of illness without a pathogen identified
  • Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicated that raw oysters harvested from Estero El Cardon in Baja California Sur, Mexico, were the likely source of this outbreak.
  • On May 6, 2019, one U.S. distributor of oysters harvested from Estero El Cardon issued a voluntary recallexternal icon.
  • At the request of Mexico’s public health authorities, all raw oysters distributed from Estero El Cardon from the last week of April 2019 through the first week of May 2019 were recalled pdf icon[PDF – 474 KB]external icon.


New Zealand – Food poisoning associated with consumption of raw mussels

MPI Mussels

New Zealand Food Safety is urging people to ensure they cook raw mussels thoroughly after an increase in cases of food poisoning associated with commercially grown New Zealand mussels.

Over the past 6 weeks, there has been an increase in cases of people with food poisoning caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus.

Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a marine microorganism that occurs naturally throughout the world.  Not all Vibrio parahaemolyticus strains cause illness in humans and surveys to date of New Zealand shellfish have found very low levels and incidence of disease-causing strains.

However, some strains do cause illness in humans.  Symptoms are predominantly stomach cramps and watery diarrhoea and sometimes nausea, vomiting and fever.  Generally people who are sick recover without hospital treatment, however, in severe cases hospitalisation is required.

New Zealand Food Safety’s director of food regulation Paul Dansted says the majority of people who have become sick have bought commercially-grown New Zealand mussels harvested from a single growing area in the Coromandel and were eaten raw or partially cooked. This growing area has been closed by New Zealand Food Safety while further investigations continue.

“Additional testing is being done to confirm the type of Vibrio parahaemolyticus that has caused this illness.  It is possible that the strain of Vibrio parahaemolyticus is unusually aggressive which may mean that even low numbers could cause illness.

“Additional testing of mussels and the waters that they are being grown in is also underway to help us understand why this has happened.

“The mussels at the centre of the outbreak were all bought in their raw state, in the shell. They are not the mussels that can be bought in plastic pottles. Those mussels are cooked and marinated and are not affected.

“Until we have more information, New Zealand Food Safety is reminding people to take care when handling, preparing, and consuming mussels.”

Cooking temperatures for mussels should be above 65°C. This will ensure that any Vibrio parahaemolyticus that is present in mussels will be destroyed.

  • Don’t eat raw or undercooked mussels or other shellfish. Cook them before eating.
  • Always wash your hands with soap and water after handing raw shellfish.
  • Avoid contaminating cooked shellfish with raw shellfish and its juices.

New Zealand Food Safety’s advice to consumers who are pregnant or have low immunity is to avoid eating raw shellfish.

Research – Vibrio spp. from Yesso scallop (Patinopecten yessoensis) demonstrating virulence properties and antimicrobial resistance

Wiley Online


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We report the prevalence and characterization of Vibrio spp. isolated from marketed Yesso scallop (Patinopecten yessoensis) in Korea. A total of 30 isolates including, V. parahaemolyticus (n = 2), V. alginolyticus (n = 9), V. fluvialis (n = 7), V. diabolicus (n = 7), V. anguillarum (n = 4) and V. aestuarianus (n = 1) were isolated and identified. The phenotypic pathogenicity tests demonstrated that, 18 (60%), 21 (70%), 18 (60%), 7 (23%), 22 (73%), 21 (70%), 9 (30%), and 11 (33%) of the isolates were positive for DNase, protease, gelatinase, lipase, phospho‐lipase, amylase, slime production, and haemolysis, respectively. PCR assays revealed the prevalence of toxR, tlh, VAC, vfh, hupO, and VPI genes among the isolates with varying combinations. A close genetic affinity among V. alginolyticus and V. diabolicus strains was observed. Also the virulence genes specific to one Vibrio species were detected among other species as well. In addition, 29/30 (97%) isolates were multidrug resistant, while higher resistance rates were shown for ampicillin, colistin, vancomycin, and cephalothin. The results imply that the scallops in Korean markets harbor Vibrio spp., which are potentially virulent and multidrug resistant, thus their public health implications should not be underrated.

Practical applications

For many decades, vibrios are known for its importance in seafoodborne illnesses. Yesso scallop is the most popular and extensively cultured scallop variety in Korea. Therefore, we sought to assess the marketed fresh Yesso scallops for the prevalence and molecular characterization of Vibrio species. A total of 30 strains were isolated and identified by a series of biochemical tests, subsequent gyrB gene sequencing and phylogenetic analyses. Six Vibrio spp. were identified with V. alginolyticus as the most prevalent. Interestingly, V. alginolyticus was genetically similar to V. diabolicus. Besides, the virulence genes specific to V. alginolyticus and V. parahaemolyticus were observed in other species as well. It suggests that the detection of the species‐specific genes does not ensure the correct identification of pathogenic vibrios. Further, the occurrence of V. parahaemolyticus‐specific virulence genes in other Vibrio spp. potentially complicates the correct tracking of V. parahaemolyticus infections. In addition, 73% of these Vibrio spp. isolates showed multiple antibiotic resistance (MAR) indices higher than 0.2, which signifies their high risk of infection. Collectively, these results provide important evidence that not only the well‐known pathogenic vibrios like V. parahaemolyticus, but also other Vibrio spp. can act alike because of their similar characteristics.

RASFF Alert – Vibrio vulnificus – Frozen Wild Giant Tiger Shrimps


RASFF – Vibrio vulnificus (present /25g) in frozen wild giant tiger shrimps (Penaeus monodon) from Vietnam in France

RASFF Alert – Vibrio parahaemolyticus – Frozen Raw Whole Shrimps


RASFF – Vibrio parahaemolyticus (ToxR+ Tdh+ /25g) in frozen raw whole shrimps from Ecuador, via Spain in France