Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 4283
Title: Ecology of Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus in the coastal and estuarine waters of Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, and Washington (United States)
Author: Crystal N. Johnson, John C. Bowers, Kimberly J. Griffitt, Vanessa Molina, Rachel W. Clostio, Shaofeng Pei, Edward Laws, R. N. Paranjpye, M. S. Strom, Arlene Chen, Nur A. Hasan, Anwar Huq, Nicholas F. Noriea, D. Jay Grimes, Rita R. Colwell
Publication Year: 2012
Journal: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume: 78
Issue: 20
Pages: 7249-7257
Keywords: vibrio parahaemolyticus, Vibrio vulnificus, Crassostrea virginica, water, sediment, thermostable direct hemolysin, tdh-related hemolysin, temperature, turbidity, salinity, pigments, plankton,Vibrio parahaemolyticus

ibrio parahaemolyticus (Vp) and Vibrio vulnificus (Vv), native to estuaries globally, are agents of seafood-borne or wound infections, both potentially fatal. Like all vibrios autochthonous to coastal regions, their abundance varies with changes in environmental parameters. Sea surface temperature (SST), sea surface height (SSH), and chlorophyll have been shown to be predictors of zooplankton and thus factors linked to vibrio populations. The contribution of salinity, conductivity, turbidity, and dissolved organic carbon to the incidence and distribution of Vibrio spp. has also been reported. Here, a multi-coastal, 21-month study was conducted to determine relationships between environmental parameters and Vp and Vv populations in water, oysters, and sediment in three coastal areas of the United States. Because ecologically unique sites were included in the study, it was possible to analyze individual parameters over wide ranges. Molecular methods were used to detect thermolabile hemolysin tlh, thermostable direct hemolysin tdh, and tdh-related hemolysin trh, as indicators for Vp and hemolysin vvhA for Vv. SST and suspended particulate matter were found to be strong predictors of total and potentially pathogenic Vp and Vv. Other predictors included chlorophyll-a, salinity, and dissolved organic carbon. For the ecologically unique sites included in the study, SST was confirmed as an effective predictor of annual variation in vibrio abundance, with other parameters explaining a portion of the variation not attributable to SST.

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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