Temporal and Spatial Variability in the Distribution of Vibrio vulnificus in the Chesapeake Bay: A Hindcast Study
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Vibrio vulnificus, an estuarine bacterium, is the causative agent of seafood-related gastroenteritis, primary septicemia, and wound infections worldwide. It occurs as part of the normal microflora of coastal marine environments and can be isolated from water, sediment, and oysters. Hindcast prediction was undertaken to determine spatial and temporal variability in the likelihood of occurrence of V. vulnificus in surface waters of the Chesapeake Bay. Hindcast predictions were achieved by forcing a multivariate habitat suitability model with simulated sea surface temperature and salinity in the Bay for the period between 1991 and 2005 and the potential hotspots of occurrence of V. vulnificus in the Chesapeake Bay were identified. The likelihood of occurrence of V. vulnificus during high and low rainfall years was analyzed. From results of the study, it is concluded that hindcast prediction yields an improved understanding of environmental conditions associated with occurrence of V. vulnificus in the Chesapeake Bay.
KeywordsVibrio vulnificus hindcast Chesapeake Bay empirical habitat model
The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Matt Rhodes in the development of the V. vulnificus empirical habitat suitability model (NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 112). This work was supported in part by National Institutes of Health-Fogarty International Center Grant No. 1RC1TW008587-01, National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant No. 0813066, National Institutes of Health Grant No. 1 R01 A139129-01, and Distinguished Scholar in Oceans and Human Health, NOAA Grant No. SO660009 for the Advanced Study Institute for Earth System Prediction. Raghu Murtugudde acknowledges the Chesapeake Bay grant from NOAA and the generous support of the Divecha Center for Climate Change, IISc-Bangalore and IITM-Pune.
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