Vibrio parahaemolyticus infections in the United States, 1973-1998

J Infect Dis. 2000 May;181(5):1661-6. doi: 10.1086/315459. Epub 2000 May 15.


Vibrio parahaemolyticus infections are associated with consumption of raw or undercooked shellfish, contaminated food, and exposure of wounds to warm seawater. Foodborne outbreaks and sporadic infections from Vibrio species in 4 Gulf Coast states are reported routinely to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Between 1988 and 1997, 345 sporadic V. parahaemolyticus infections were reported: 59% were gastroenteritis, 34% were wound infections, 5% were septicemia, and 2% were from other exposures. Forty-five percent of patients suffering from these conditions were hospitalized for their infections, and 88% of persons with acute gastroenteritis reported having eaten raw oysters during the week before their illness occurred. Between 1973 and 1998, 40 outbreaks of V. parahaemolyticus infections were reported to the CDC, and these outbreaks included >1000 illnesses. Most of these outbreaks occurred during the warmer months and were attributed to seafood, particularly shellfish. The median attack rate among persons who consumed the implicated seafood was 56%. To prevent V. parahaemolyticus infections, persons should avoid consumption of raw or undercooked shellfish and exposure of wounds to seawater.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S.
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Female
  • Food Microbiology
  • Guam / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Seasons
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vibrio Infections / epidemiology*
  • Vibrio Infections / transmission
  • Vibrio parahaemolyticus*
  • Wounds and Injuries / complications