Vibrio parahaemolyticus
John Clay

V. parahaemolyticus is curved rod shaped organisms. It is gram-negative, oxidase negative, a facultative aerobe, non-spore forming, motile, and has a single, polar flagellum. V. parahaemolyticus lives in saltwater, usually in oysters.

V. parahaemolyticus has been known to infect humans. It causes gastroenteritis. Gastroenteritis is an infection of the GI tract. Usually symptoms are stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and sometimes infections of the bowel and colon. The cause of the infection is usually from undercooked shellfish, mostly oysters. There are usually about thirty to forty cases a year reported in the Gulf Coast region of the US. The incidence in the world, according to Foodborne Disease Active Surveillance Network, is about twenty five cases for one hundred thousand people. Symptoms usually occur in about twenty four hours and lasts for about three days. The treatment is usually to take plenty of fluids, because antibiotics have not proven to be effective to in reducing the severity or the length. There have been two major outbreaks in the past ten years, in summer of 1997 and 1998, with only one death reported.. The mechanism for infection has not been completely studied. V. parahaemolyticus has also been known to infect open wounds from people swimming in the ocean.

V. parahaemolyticus is usually diagnosed by blue green colonies on thiosulfate, citrate, bile salts, and sucrose (TCBS) agar, and a positive Kanagawa test. It is purified from the feces.


Disease Listing, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, General Info.

US FDA/CFSAN-Bad Bug Book-Vibrio parahaemolyticus.

Vibrio parahaemolyticus.

Vibrio parahaemolyticus.

*Disclaimer - This report was written by a student participaring in a microbiology course at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. The accuracy of the contents of this report is not guaranteed and it is recommended that you seek additional sources of information to verify the contents.


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