Volume 15, Number 2–February 2009


Epidemiology of Vibrio parahaemolyticus Outbreaks, Southern Chile

Source of Article:  http://www.cdc.gov/eid/content/15/2/163.htm

Erika Harth,1 Luis Matsuda, Cristina Hernández, Maria L. Rioseco, Jaime Romero, Narjol González-Escalona, Jaime Martínez-Urtaza, and Romilio T. Espejo Comments to Author
Author affiliations: Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile (E. Harth, L. Matsuda, J. Romero, R.T. Espejo); Secretaría Regional Ministerial de Salud, Puerto Montt, Chile (C. Hernández); Hospital Regional de Puerto Montt, Puerto Montt (M.L. Rioseco); Food and Drug Administration, College Park, Maryland, USA (N. González-Escalona); and Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain (J. Martínez-Urtaza)

Suggested citation for this article

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 pathogenicity-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.



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