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Vibrio parahaemolyticus

Vibrios are gram-negative, rod-shaped bacteria that occur naturally in estuarine or marine environments. Roughly a dozen species are known to cause disease in humans 1, accounting for an estimated 80,000 illnesses, 500 hospitalizations and 100 deaths each year in the United States 2.

Infection is usually from exposure to seawater or consumption of raw or undercooked seafood [3, 4] Vibriosis is characterized by diarrhea, primary septicemia, wound infections, or other extraintestinal infections [3-7]. Infection with pathogenic species of the family Vibrionaceae can cause two distinct categories of infection: cholera and vibriosis, both of which are nationally notifiable.

Information on this site focuses on two species that cause vibriosis: Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus. For information on cholera and it global impact, see CDC’s cholera website.

Persons infected with the outbreak strain of Vibrio parahaemolyticus, by State

Information About Vibrio parahaemolyticus

NEW! 2013 Investigation

Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a bacterium that lives in brackish saltwater and seawater. It typically causes gastrointestinal illness in humans. V. parahaemolyticus naturally inhabits coastal waters in the United States and Canada and is present in higher concentrations during summer; it is a salt-requiring organism.

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Vibrio vulnificus

Information About Vibrio vulnificus

Vibrio vulnificus is a bacterium that lives in brackish saltwater and seawater. Like V. parahaemolyticus, it is part of a group of vibrios that require salt and it is present in higher concentrations in warmer waters. In people who are immunocomprimised, particularly those with chronic liver disease, V. vulnificus can cause disease with potentially fatal complications by eating contaminated seafood or exposing an open wound to contaminated seawater.

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References

 
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