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      Vibrio vulnificus: new insights into a deadly opportunistic pathogen.

      1 , 2 , 3

      Environmental microbiology

      Wiley

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          Abstract

          Vibrio vulnificus is a Gram-negative aquatic bacterium first isolated by the United States (US) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1964. This bacterium is part of the normal microbiota of estuarine waters and occurs in high numbers in molluscan shellfish around the world, particularly in warmer months. Infections in humans are derived from consumption of seafood produce and from water exposure. Vibrio vulnificus is a striking and enigmatic human pathogen, yet many aspects related to its biology, genomics, virulence capabilities and epidemiology remain elusive and poorly understood. This pathogen is responsible for over 95% of seafood-related deaths in the United States, and carries the highest fatality rate of any food-borne pathogen. Indeed, infections associated with this pathogen that progress to primary septicaemia have a similar case fatality rate to category BSL 3 and 4 pathogens, such as anthrax, bubonic plague, Ebola and Marburg fever. Interestingly, V. vulnificus infections disproportionately affect males (∼85% of cases) and older patients (> 40 years), especially those with underlying conditions such as liver diseases, diabetes and immune disorders. New insights from molecular studies and comparative genomic approaches have offered tantalising insights into this pathogen. A recent increase and geographical spread in reported infections, in particular wound cases, underlines the growing international importance of V. vulnificus, particularly in the context of coastal warming. We outline and explore here a range of current data gaps regarding this important pathogen, and provide some current thoughts on approaches to elucidate key aspects associated with this bacterium.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Environ. Microbiol.
          Environmental microbiology
          Wiley
          1462-2920
          1462-2912
          Feb 2018
          : 20
          : 2
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Weymouth Laboratory, Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Barrack Road, Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 8UB, England.
          [2 ] Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, USA.
          [3 ] Duke University Marine Laboratory, Durham, NC, USA.
          Article
          10.1111/1462-2920.13955
          29027375
          28c26309-94b5-446b-bcf8-f3cee7931eb1

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