Friday, June 7, 2013

Big Increase VIBRIO PARAHAEMOLYTICUS Along Texas Coast


"It is along the whole coast of Texas,"

-----Original Message-----

From: ProMED-mail

Sent: Wednesday, June 05, 2013 10:56 AM

Subject: PRO/EDR> Vibrio parahaemolyticus - USA: (TX)



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Date: Tue 4 Jun 2013 Source: KRIS-TV [summ., edited]

A big increase in a specific bacterial infection found in warm salt water has health officials on alert. The bacterium is called _Vibrio parahaemolyticus_. "It is along the whole coast of Texas," explained Dr William Burgin, Jr with the Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District.

The whole coast of Texas usually sees 2-7 cases per year. In Corpus Christi, in just 3 weeks, there already have been 3 cases.

The bacterium is found in warm salt water that means you can pick it up either by swimming in infected water with an open wound or by eating the shellfish that inhabits that water.

Dr Burgin with the health department cautions that it is young people who have picked up the infection; one from eating infected food, the other 2 from being in the water.

Having cuts or scrapes will put you at a higher risk. "You never know, you may go in with no scratches, but out there in the water you step on something and that breaks the skin," Burgin explained. That's why it's important to stay aware, get out if you get cut, and do something as simple as wearing water shoes at the beach to help prevent those cuts and scrapes in the water.

[Byline: Janine Reyes]

-- Communicated by: ProMED-mail

[The state of Texas can be located on the HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map at <>. Corpus Christi and Nueces County in southeastern Texas can be seen on the map at <>. - Sr.Tech.Ed.MJ

It is important to stress that _Vibrio parahaemolyticus_ is naturally present in marine waters and does not imply sewage contamination, as would be the case with _Salmonella_ sp. or _E. coli_. It is most common in warmer waters such as those of the American Gulf Coast as in this case, but warmer waters in more northern climates can also be associated with oyster-associated _V. parahaemolyticus_.

In 2005, a New England Journal of Medicine report highlighted this infection linked to even Alaskan oysters: McLaughlin JB, DePaola A, Bopp CA, et al:

Outbreak of _Vibrio parahaemolyticus_ Gastroenteritis Associated with Alaskan Oysters.

N Engl J Med 2005; 353(14): 1463-70 (full article available at <>).

"Abstract ---------

Background: _Vibrio parahaemolyticus_, the leading cause of seafood-associated gastroenteritis in the USA, typically is associated with the consumption of raw oysters gathered from warm water estuaries. We describe a recognized outbreak of _V. parahaemolyticus_ infection associated with the consumption of seafood from Alaska.

Methods: After we received reports of the occurrence of gastroenteritis on a cruise ship, we conducted a retrospective cohort study among passengers, as well as active surveillance throughout Alaska to identify additional cases, and an environmental study to identify sources of _V. parahaemolyticus_ and contributors to the outbreak.

Results: Of 189 passengers, 132 (70 percent) were interviewed; 22 of the interviewees (17 percent) met our case definition of gastroenteritis. In our multiple logistic-regression analysis, consumption of raw oysters was the only significant predictor of illness; the attack rate among people who consumed oysters was 29 percent. Active surveillance identified a total of 62 patients with gastroenteritis. _V. parahaemolyticus_ serotype O6:K18 was isolated from the majority of patients tested and from environmental samples of oysters. Patterns on pulsed-field gel electrophoresis were highly related across clinical and oyster isolates. All oysters associated with the outbreak were harvested when mean daily water temperatures exceeded 15.0 deg C (59 deg F) (the theorized threshold for the risk of _V. parahaemolyticus_ illness from the consumption of raw oysters). Since 1997, mean water temperatures in July and August at the implicated oyster farm increased 0.21 deg C per year (P less than 0.001 by linear regression); 2004 was the only year during which mean daily temperatures in July and August 2004 at the shellfish farm did not drop below 15.0 deg C (59 deg F).

Conclusions: This investigation extends by 1000 km (621 mi) the northernmost documented source of oysters that caused illness due to _V. parahaemolyticus_. Rising temperatures of ocean water seem to have contributed to one of the largest known outbreaks of _V. parahaemolyticus_ in the USA." - Mod.LL]



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