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Environmental investigation for the presence of Vibrio species following a case of severe gastroenteritis in a touristic island

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Global changes have caused a worldwide increase in reports of Vibrio-associated diseases with ecosystem-wide impacts on humans and marine animals. In Europe, higher prevalence of human infections followed regional climatic trends with outbreaks occurring during episodes of unusually warm weather. Similar patterns were also observed in Vibrio-associated diseases affecting marine organisms such as fish, bivalves, and corals. Following a possible human case of infection due to V. cholerae in the island of Kos (eastern Aegean, Greece), environmental samples were collected and tested for the presence of Vibrio species. Using chromogenic agar and MALDI-TOF MS, V. parahaemolyticus, V. vulnificus V. furnisii, V. alginolyticus, and V. fluvialis were isolated and/or identified. The presence of V. cholerae was established by PCR-sequencing analysis only. Following the susceptibility testing of the Vibrio isolates, only one, V. furnisii, showed intermediate resistance to ciprofloxacin. The rest of the isolates were susceptible to all antibiotics tested. The presence of Vibrio species in aquatic samples reveals potential dangers due to exposure to contaminated seawaters.

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We would like to thank Miss Rania Kotzatapani (employee of the Municipal Enterprise for Water and Sewage of Kos) for sending us the results of the samplings and Miss Eleni Chatzipetrou (president of the Pharmacists Association of Kos) for sending us the consumption of drugs during August and September.

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Correspondence to Anna Psaroulaki.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Assimoula Economopoulou and Dimosthenis Chochlakis have equal contribution.

Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Economopoulou, A., Chochlakis, D., Almpan, M.A. et al. Environmental investigation for the presence of Vibrio species following a case of severe gastroenteritis in a touristic island. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24, 4835–4840 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-016-8231-7

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  • Vibrio
  • Chromagar
  • Susceptibility testing