Epidemiology of Vibrio parahaemolyticus outbreaks, Southern Chile

E. Harth, L. Matsuda, C. Hernández, M.L. Rioseco, J. Romero, N. González-Escalona, J. Martínez-Urtaza, R.T. Espejo

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76 Citations (SciVal)


Disease outbreaks caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus in Puerto Montt, Chile, began in 2004 and reached a peak in 2005 at 3,600 clinical cases. Until 2006, every analyzed case was caused by the serovar O3:K6 pandemic strain. In the summer of 2007, only 475 cases were reported; 73% corresponded to the pandemic strain. This decrease was associated with a change in serotype of many pandemic isolates to O3:K59 and the emergence of new clinical strains. One of these strains, associated with 11% of the cases, was genotypically different from the pandemic strain but contained genes that were identical to those found on its pathogenicity island. These findings suggest that patho- genicity-related genes were laterally transferred from the pandemic strain to one of the different V. parahaemolyticus groups comprising the diverse and shifting bacterial population in shellfish in this region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-168
Number of pages6
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2009


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