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Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture – ARCHIVED FY14-16
Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture

Title: Vibrio parahaemolyticus virulence and its magnification in the Eastern Oyster, Crassostrea virginica

Principal Investigators:
Charles Lovell, University of South Carolina
Project Number: R/CF-20

Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a growing problem for seafood safety. Increasingly, human exposure to V. parahaemolyticus has led to an increasing number of cases of seafood-associated gastroenteritis. Increasing coastal water temperatures are producing more frequent and more widespread outbreaks of this pathogen worldwide and in the southeast. The conditions leading to the magnification of virulent strain bacterial populations in oysters are unknown and the extent of this magnification has not been quantified. The researchers will use PCR (polymerase chain reaction) to quantify virulent V. parahaemolyticus in thermally stressed Eastern Oysters, Crassostrea virginica. This will aid researchers in determining if virulent strains are selected in oysters, and if this is impacted by elevated in-shell oyster body temperature. Determining the impacts of thermal stress on oyster V. parahaemolyticus burdens is essential to assuring oyster safety to consumers. The results will also provide the necessary quantitative evidence for adoption or modification of policies for regulating the oyster harvest.

The objectives of this study are to determine (1) if selection within oysters increases V. parahaemolyticus population sizes and thus potential for transmission to humans of virulent V. parahaemolyticus strains and (2) if high environmental temperatures and aerial exposure of oysters, which have direct effects on in-shell oyster body temperature, result in increased V. parahaemolyticus population sizes and potential for transmission of virulent V. parahaemolyticus strains.

Charles Lovell

Last updated: 10/21/2016 9:57:30 AM
Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture – ARCHIVED FY14-16


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