, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 456–467 | Cite as

Temporal and Spatial Variability in the Distribution of Vibrio vulnificus in the Chesapeake Bay: A Hindcast Study

  • Vinita Banakar
  • Guillaume Constantin de Magny
  • John Jacobs
  • Raghu Murtugudde
  • Anwar Huq
  • Robert J. Wood
  • Rita R. Colwell
Original Contribution


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.


Vibrio 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.

Supplementary material

10393_2011_736_MOESM1_ESM.tiff (1.1 mb)
Figure S1 A) Mean differences two by two of the mean probability of V. vulnificus in the three hotspot areas in 1991. B, C, and D are the mean differences and standard deviations drawn in solid and dashed line, respectively (TIFF 1107 kb)
10393_2011_736_MOESM2_ESM.tiff (90 kb)
Figure S2 Distance of the mean salinity to the optimal salinity (SALopt = 11.5 ppt, red line) at the three “hotspots”. The salinity of the Upper Bay and West estuaries during 1991 is around the optimal salinity whereas at the Mid Bay, the salinity was always higher than the optimal salinity throughout the year (TIFF 90 kb)
10393_2011_736_MOESM3_ESM.tiff (950 kb)
Figure S3 Annual anomaly of Vibrio vulnificus probability for the period between 1991 and 2005 in the upper bay, Mid-Bay, and Western estuaries (TIFF 949 kb)
10393_2011_736_MOESM4_ESM.doc (24 kb)
Supplementary material 4 (DOC 24 kb)


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Copyright information

© International Association for Ecology and Health 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vinita Banakar
    • 1
    • 5
  • Guillaume Constantin de Magny
    • 2
    • 3
  • John Jacobs
    • 4
  • Raghu Murtugudde
    • 1
  • Anwar Huq
    • 5
  • Robert J. Wood
    • 4
  • Rita R. Colwell
    • 2
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Earth System Science Interdisciplinary CenterUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer StudiesCollege ParkUSA
  3. 3.MIVEGEC (UMR 5290 CNRS-IRD-UM1), Centre de recherche IRDMontpellierFrance
  4. 4.National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, Cooperative Oxford LaboratoryOxfordUSA
  5. 5.Maryland Pathogen Research InstituteUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  6. 6.Department of Environment HealthJohn Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA

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