Contaminants of Seafood
All species of the genus Vibrio are motile and have polar flagella with sheaths. Vibrio spp. do not form spores and test positive for oxidase.
Several species of Vibrio are pathogens that can infect open wounds, cause septicemia or are associated with gastroenteritis. Many sea-living animals can be their hosts, for example crabs or prawns. Eating undercooked seafood containing pathogenic Vibrio can cause foodborne illnesses. V. cholerae, V. parahaemolyticus and V. vulnificus are among the pathogenic species. V. cholerae is the causative agent of cholera. Its close relative, V. vulnificus, can cause disease after consumption of raw or undercooked oysters.
An infection leads to rapidly expanding cellulitis or septicemia. V. parahaemolyticus causes gastrointestinal illness in humans, typically after eating raw or undercooked oysters. Many Vibrio spp. are zoonotic and cause diseases in fish and shellfish, and are thus common causes of mortality among domestic marine life.