Research Area #1 | Seafood & Water > Pathogens
In the U.S., there are approximately 25,000 cases of foodborne disease that require hospitalization every year. Waterborne bacterial pathogens may be the cause of as many as half of these cases.
The majority of seafood-related bacterial infections in humans are due to Vibrio species, bacteria that can cause severe gastroenteritis in healthy individuals who consume affected shellfish. At least one Vibrio species (vulnificus) is responsible for mortalities of certain susceptible individuals. Mortalities associated with Vibrio parahaemolyticus while rare, have occurred.
Research Projects (2004-2009)
- Identify the mechanisms through which V. parahaemolyticus (responsible for the majority of seafood-related bacterial infections in humans) colonizes shellfish and develop methods to reduce or eliminate this pathogen from harvested shellfish.
- Determine the association of harmful bacteria (Vibrio species) with marine phytoplankton to develop better tools to assess health risk at shellfish harvesting times.
- Develop a better understanding of complex microbial communities in the marine environment, possibly leading to improved methods to reduce or eliminate these communities.
Dr. Mark Strom, Northwest Fisheries Science Center
Key External Collaborator:
Dr. Stephen Moseley, University of Washington
Northwest Fisheries Science Center Researchers:
Dr. William Nilsson
Dr. Rohinee Paranjpye
Northwest Fisheries Science Center's Microbiology Program
University of Washington Department of Microbiology