We examined the potential influence of climate anomalies in expanding the geographical and seasonal range of seafood-borne illnesses from Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus. Archived climate data from areas of implicated seafood production were obtained from various sources, including in situ monitoring devices and satellite imagery. The geographical expansion of V. parahaemolyticus outbreaks into Peru and Alaska corresponded closely with climate anomalies such as El Niño, which brought large masses of abnormally warm water into these regions. Seasonal expansion of V. vulnificus illnesses associated with oysters harvested from the Gulf of Mexico in April and November correspond with warmer water temperatures (>20 °C) recorded during these months since 1998. This retrospective review indicates that climate anomalies have already greatly expanded the risk area and season for vibrio illnesses and suggest that these events can be forecasted. Certainly, when similar circumstances occur in the future, adjustments in industry practices and regulatory policy should be considered, especially for seafood that is consumed raw, such as bivalve mollusks.
Martinez-Urtaza, J., Bowers, J. C., Trinanes, J., & DePaola, A. (2010). Climate anomalies and the increasing risk of Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus illnesses. Food Research International, 43(7), 1780-1790. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2010.04.001