Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 4312
Title: Genetic diversity of clinical and environmental Vibrio parahaemolyticus strains from the Pacific Northwest
Author: R. N. Paranjpye, O. S. Hamel, Asta Stojanovski, Martin Liermann
Publication Year: 2012
Journal: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume: 78
Issue: 24
Pages: 8631-8638
Keywords: Vibrio parahaemolyticus,genotyping

Since 1997, cases of Vibrio parahaemolyticus–related gastroenteritis from the consumption of raw oysters harvested in Washington State have been higher than historical levels.  These cases have shown little or no correlation with concentrations of potentially pathogenic V. parahaemolyticus (positive for the thermostable direct hemolysin gene,tdh) in oysters, although significant concentrations of tdh+ V. parahaemolyticus strains were isolated from shellfish–growing areas in the Pacific Northwest (PNW).  We compared clinical and environmental strains isolated from the PNW to those from other geographic regions within the United States and Asia for the presence of virulence–associated genes, including the thermostable direct hemolysin (tdh), the thermostable–related hemolysin (trh), urease (ureR), the pandemic group specific markers orf8 and toxRS, and genes encoding both type–3 secretion systems (T3SS1 and T3SS2).  The majority of clinical strains from the PNW were positive for tdh, trh, and ureR genes, while a significant proportion of environmental isolates were tdh+ but trh negative.  Hierarchical clustering grouped the majority of these clinical isolates into a cluster distinct from that including the pandemic strain RIMD2210633, clinical isolates from other geographical regions, and tdh+, trh–negative environmental isolates from the PNW.  We detected T3SS2–related genes (T3SS2β) in environmental strains that were tdh and trh negative.  The presence of significant concentrations of tdh+, trh–negative environmental strains in the PNW that have not been responsible for illness and T3SS2β in tdh– and trh–negative strains emphasizes the diversity in this species and the need to identify additional virulence markers for this bacterium to improve risk assessment tools for the detection of this pathogen.

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Theme: Sustaining Marine Ecosystem and Human Health
Foci: Characterize the exposure risks and effects of pathogens, chemical contaminants, and biotoxins on human and marine animal health using sentinel species and biomedical models