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Interaction of Vibrio vulnificus and the Eastern Oyster, Crassostrea virginica

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Abstract:

The estuarine bacterium, Vibrio vulnificus, is a human pathogen associated with the consumption of raw oysters. To date, no effective means exists for the elimination of this health hazard in oysters meant for raw consumption. The purpose of this study was to investigate the interaction between V. vulnificus and the eastern oyster. These studies were facilitated through the use of a strain of V. vulnificus containing a TnphoA transposon that allowed specific identification of the bacterium on a selective and differential medium. In studies employing ultra-violet assisted (UV-assisted) depuration, no differences were found in the oysters of the encapsulated (virulent) and nonencapsulated (avirulent) morphotypes ofV. vulnificus. Both types were readily depurated from the oysters, while a naturally obtained microflora was shown not to depurate. Virulence of V. vulnificus and conversion rates between the virulent and avirulent morphotypes of this bacterium were found to be unchanged by oyster passage.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Biology. University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina 28223

Publication date: March 1, 1994

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