Fatal Vibrio parahemolyticus septicemia in a patient with cirrhosis. A case report and review of the literature

Dig Dis Sci. 1995 Jun;40(6):1257-60. doi: 10.1007/BF02065534.


Vibrio parahemolyticus has been well documented to cause outbreaks of infectious diarrhea, usually related to poor food handling; only rarely has it been reported to cause fetal septicemia. In contrast, Vibrio vulnificus is a well-known cause of septicemia, especially in patients with cirrhosis. A 31-year-old woman with cirrhosis who developed fatal V. parahemolyticus sepsis after ingesting raw seafood is described. We review the clinical syndromes associated with sepsis caused by these two organisms. Leg pain and bullous skin lesions may be a clue to the diagnosis. Febrile patients with cirrhosis should be questioned regarding recent seafood ingestion, and appropriate antibiotics chosen if this history is obtained. Physicians should inform patients at risk to avoid raw seafood in an attempt to prevent this potentially lethal syndrome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Decapoda
  • Emergencies
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Foodborne Diseases / diagnosis
  • Foodborne Diseases / etiology
  • Hepatitis C / complications
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic / complications*
  • Ostreidae
  • Sepsis / diagnosis*
  • Sepsis / etiology
  • Vibrio Infections / diagnosis*
  • Vibrio Infections / etiology
  • Vibrio parahaemolyticus*