Vibrio vulnificus causes severe wound infections and sepsis, mostly in persons with chronic liver diseases. Survival of this organism in the whole blood collected from healthy volunteers and patients with chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and hepatoma was analyzed as an indication of susceptibility. The bacterial numbers in the blood after 5 h of incubation tended to increase with the severity of the liver disease and differed significantly between hepatoma patients and healthy volunteers (P<.05). Survival of V. vulnificus in the whole blood correlated positively with serum ferritin concentration (r=.266; P<.05) and percentage of transferrin iron saturation (r=. 200; P<.05) and correlated negatively with serum C4 concentration (r=-.198; P<.05) and phagocytosis by neutrophils (r=-.204; P<.05). Among these parameters, low phagocytosis activity (P<.01) and high ferritin level (P<.01) in the blood were the independent predictors.