Occurrence, virulence, and antimicrobial resistance of Vibrio parahaemolyticus isolated from bivalve shellfish farms along the southern coast of Korea
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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.
KeywordsVibrio parahaemolyticus Virulence Antimicrobial resistance Korea Bivalve shellfish Seawater
This work was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Fisheries Science in Korea (R2018061).
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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