Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 20, pp 21034–21043 | Cite as

Occurrence, virulence, and antimicrobial resistance of Vibrio parahaemolyticus isolated from bivalve shellfish farms along the southern coast of Korea

  • A. Ra Ryu
  • Jong Soo MokEmail author
  • Da Eun Lee
  • Ji Young Kwon
  • Kunbawui Park
Short Research and Discussion Article


Vibrio parahaemolyticus is the most common pathogen causing seafood-borne illnesses in Korea. The present study evaluated the occurrence, virulence, and antimicrobial resistance of V. parahaemolyticus in seawater and bivalves obtained in 2016 from the southern coast of Korea, an important region for commercial aquaculture industries, especially the Korean raw seafood culture. V. parahaemolyticus was detected in 87 of 160 (54.4%) bivalve samples and in 32 of 130 (24.5%) seawater samples. Especially high levels were detected during summer to early autumn. All the seawater and bivalves contained less than 2 and 5% of the tdh and trh genes of the isolates, respectively, and seawater isolates possessed two fewer genes than the bivalve isolates. Of 23 antimicrobials tested, three agents (ofloxacin, norfloxacin, and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole) effectively treated V. parahaemolyticus illness due to the sensitivity of the isolates. The isolates were highly resistant to ampicillin, however, excluding it as a treatment option. More than half of the isolates exhibited resistance to at least three antimicrobials. These findings indicate the importance of an integrated monitoring and surveillance program noting the occurrence, virulence, and antimicrobial resistance patterns of V. parahaemolyticus in various aquatic sources for preventing human health risks from seafood consumption.


Vibrio parahaemolyticus Virulence Antimicrobial resistance Korea Bivalve shellfish Seawater 


Funding information

This work was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Fisheries Science in Korea (R2018061).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

11356_2019_5426_MOESM1_ESM.docx (80 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 79 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Food Safety and Processing Research DivisionNational Institute of Fisheries ScienceBusanRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Southeast Sea Fisheries Research InstituteNational Institute of Fisheries SciencesTongyeongRepublic of Korea

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