Research Article: Characterization of clinical Vibrio parahaemolyticus strains in Zhoushan, China, from 2013 to 2014

Date Published: July 5, 2017

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Hongling Wang, Xiaoyang Tang, Yi-Cheng Su, Jiabei Chen, Jianbo Yan, Patrick Butaye.


Vibrio parahaemolyticus is recognized as major cause of foodborne illness of global public health concern. This study collected 107 strains of V. parahaemolyticus during active surveillance of diarrheal diseases in hospitals in Zhoushan during 2013 to 2014 and investigated their serotypes, virulence genes (tdh, trh, and orf8), antimicrobial resistance, and genotypes. The dominant serotypes of the 107 clinical strains were O3:K6, O4:K8, and O4:KUT with 87.9% and 3.7% of the strains carrying the virulence genes tdh and trh, respectively. Molecular typing by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis indicated divergence among the clinical strains. Most isolates were sensitive to the common antimicrobial agents used against the Vibrio species except ampicillin. We conclude that continuous surveillance of V. parahaemolyticus in diarrhea patients is a public health priority and is useful for conducting risk assessment of foodborne illnesses caused by V. parahaemolyticus.

Partial Text

Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a gram-negative halophilic human pathogen that naturally occurs in marine or estuarine environments, which is frequently isolated from a variety of seafood, such as shrimp, oyster, and fish [1–3]. Infections caused by V. parahaemolyticus can cause acute human gastroenteritis with major symptoms of headache, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, and in some cases, wound infection and septicemia [4–6]. This foodborne pathogen is considered the leading cause of seafood-derived illness in many countries around the world, including the United States, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, Korea, and China [6–9]. In China, a total of 322 gastroenteritis outbreaks involving 9,041 illnesses and 3,948 hospitalizations due to V. parahaemolyticus infection were reported from 2003 to 2008 [10].

V. parahaemolyticus has emerged as an important public health concern worldwide as a pathogen that causes gastroenteritis related to the consumption of various seafood, including crab, shrimp, lobster, fish, and oysters [19]. In the present study, 107 clinical V. parahaemolyticus strains were collected from 2013 to 2014 in Zhoushan, we identified and analyzed the virulence genes, serotypes, molecular typing by PFGE, and antimicrobial resistance profiles of these clinical strains.

This study analyzed characteristics of V. parahaemolyticus strains in diarrheal patients in Zhoushan. Different serotypes were detected in the clinical isolates. Although the clinical V. parahaemolyticus strains isolated in Zhoushan are not resistant to most common antimicrobial agents, it will be necessary to keep a close attention to the emergence of antimicrobial resistant strains and strengthen the management of antimicrobials. Therefore, this information is useful for the control and treatment of foodborne illnesses caused by V. parahaemolyticus in Zhoushan.




0 0 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments