Compiled By: Julie A. Albrecht, Ph.D., Associate Professor
The Organism: Three species of Vibrio are pathogenic for humans; Vibrio cholerae, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, and Vibrio vulnificus. V. cholerae is responsible for cholera outbreaks and epidemics.
Sources of the organism:
- Intestinal tracts of infected humans
- Fecally contaminated water
- Seafood (fish, crab, shrimp, oysters), raw or undercooked
Microorganism Characteristics: Gram negative curved rod shaped bacteria
- Temperature range: 15-42°C (59-108°F)
- pH range: 6-11
- Lowest reported Aw for growth: 0.97
The Disease: Vibrio species cause symptoms of invasive gastroenteritis.
- Abdominal cramps
- Watery diarrhea
- 2 hours -7 days depending on species
- Large numbers (>1 million cells) need to be consumed for symptoms of the illness to develop.
Duration of symptoms:
- 6-7 days
- Thoroughly cook seafood, including oysters.
- Use proper hand washing techniques and practice good personal hygiene.
- Proper sanitation of food contact surfaces and utensils.
- Use a safe water supply.