Characteristics of Virulent Vibrio parahaemolyticus Isolated from Oregon and Washington

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Thirty-four virulent strains of Vibrio parahaemolyticus containing tdh and/or trh genes isolated from Oregon and Washington coastal water were analyzed for O-group antigens and urease activity, and by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Six O serotypes (O1, O3, O4, O5, O10, and O11) were identified among the isolates, with the O5 group (19 isolates) being the most prevalent, followed by the O1 group (9 isolates). Nearly all (33 of 34) isolates were capable of producing urease, which reaffirmed the correlation between urease production and virulence factors of V. parahaemolyticus strains isolated from the Pacific Northwest. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis analysis with NotI and SfiI digestions of the 34 V. parahaemolyticus isolates plus five clinical strains revealed 22 patterns (N1S1 to N20S22), with N1S1 (25.6%) being the most common, followed by N2S2 (10.3%). Nine Oregon isolates were grouped with a 1997 Oregon outbreak strain (027-1C1) with the same serotype (O5), virulence factors (tdh + and trh +), and genotype (N1S1). Three Washington isolates were found to share the same serotype (O1), virulence factors (tdh + and trh +), and genotype (N2S2) with a 1997 Washington outbreak strain (10293). The repetitive isolation of virulent strains of V. parahaemolyticus identical to clinical strains involved in previous outbreaks indicates potential hazards associated with oyster consumption. These data may be useful in risk assessment of V. parahaemolyticus infections associated with raw oyster consumption in Oregon and Washington.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Food Science, National PengHu University, No. 300, Liu-Ho Road, Makung City, PengHu County, Taiwan, Republic of China 2: OSU Seafood Laboratory, Oregon State University, 2001 Marine Drive, Room 253, Astoria, Oregon 97103, USA

Publication date: April 1, 2007

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