Vibrio Vulnificus

By: Oyin Alao

What is it?

A bacteria that normally lives in warm seawater and is part of a group of vibrios that are called "halophilic" because they require salt. It can cause disease to those who eat contaminated seafood or have an open wound exposed to seawater.


Illness typically begins within 1-3 days of exposure, but begins as late as 7 days after exposure for a small percentage of cases. The exposure of wounds to seawater can cause skin infection leading to breakdown,ulceration, and swelling. Ingestion of the bacteria can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. The bacteria's effect on people with previous immune problems like chronic liver disease are life threatening illnesses in the bloodstream characterized by skeptic shock, skin lesions, and etc. In these immune compromised people, V. Vulnificus is fatal almost 50% of the time.
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Number of Victims

An average of 50 culture-confirmed cases, 45 hospitalizations, and 16 deaths are reported each year from the Gulf Coast region (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas). Deaths are found only in those with immune problems.

Foods it attacks

Oysters, Shellfishs, and othe raw seafoods

Interesting Fact

Hot sauce or alcoholic drinks do not kill bacteria in foods seafood.