Matrix tool to predict bacteria in oysters
The United States has federal regulations in place to reduce the risk of seafood related infection caused by the estuarine bacteria, Vibrio vulnificus and V. parahaemolyticus. However, data to support regulation development has been generated in a very few specific regions of the nation. More regionally specific data is needed to further understand the dynamics of human infection relating from shellfish harvesting conditions in other areas. In this study, oysters and water were collected from four oyster harvest sites in North Carolina, USA, over an 11 month period. Samples were analyzed for the abundance of total Vibrio spp., V. vulnificus, and V. parahaemolyticus; environmental parameters including salinity and water temperature, wind velocity and precipitation, were also collected simultaneously. By utilizing these data, preliminary predictive management tools were developed to estimate the abundance of V. vulnificus in shellfish, while highlighting the need for further research to fully comprehend the full suite of factors that drive of V. parahaemolyticus abundance.
Simply by measureing the water temperature and salinity, one can determine the approximate number of V. vulnificus per gram of oyster