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What You Should Know About Vibrio Bacteria



"These are interesting organisms, ranging from massive global epidemics – cholera – to rare but deadly infections – Vibrio vulnificus," said Rita Colwell, a professor at the Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics at the University of Maryland and former director the National Science Foundation.

There are about 12 types of Vibrio bacteria that cause human diseases, known as vibriosis, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 80% of infections occur between May and October, when the water is warmer, and usually after the consumption of infected shellfish.

Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Vibrio vulnificus, and Vibrio alginolyticus are the three most common types that cause disease in the United States, reports the CDC. Another noteworthy variety, Vibrio cholerae, is not common in the USA.

The symptoms of Vibrio infection include watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills. Treatment is not always required, and serious illnesses are rare, but doctors prescribe antibiotics in more stubborn cases.

Vibrio parahaemolyticus is the most commonly reported species that is responsible for 45,000 of the 80,000 Vibrio's diseases in the United States each year, says the CDC.

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"It's associated with the ingestion of seafood not properly cooked or stored properly and then not properly cooked, "said Colwell. "And by taking oysters or seafood from contaminated areas, which sometimes people do, especially in Florida or the Gulf, where there is a sign that" forbids fishing, "but the oysters are big and And they look good on them. "

Vibrio alginolyticus typically causes ear infections and the swimmer's ear, said James D. Oliver, a professor of microbiology at the Department of Biological Sciences, University of North Carolina, Charlotte.

"Personally, I'm not worried at all," said Oliver, who also works at the American Academy of Microbiology.

However, Vibrio vulnificus is an infection to be wary of.

The bacteria live in seafood and brackish water (mixed fresh and salt). They can cause skin infection if open cuts and wounds are exposed to contaminated water. There are about 205 infections a year, the CDC says, but one in four people with this infection die, and some have to be amputated to stop the spread of infected tissue. Vibrio vulnificus is sometimes referred to as "carnivorous" bacteria, although it actually damages the skin.

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Vibrio vulnificus responds very well to antibiotics, but the drug needs to be administered quickly, within a day or so, Oliver said. If there are signs of infection such as redness and swelling, a person should consult a doctor, he said.

The very young, the very old and individuals who have suppressed the immune system or high levels of iron in the body are particularly vulnerable, Colwell said.

"In people who have liver disease – that could be hepatitis or cirrhosis or some other liver disease – these are chronically damaging liver conditions," said Oliver. "Its cells are destroyed by releasing iron into the bloodstream, and the released iron is beyond your blood's ability to separate it, so it essentially gets free iron in the blood, and that allows these bacteria to multiply very, very quickly . " , "

Paul A. Gulig, a professor at the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at the University of Florida, noted that" for the raw oysters, most of the people who become seriously ill have the predisposing conditions. But … You can be healthy in other ways and have a wound infection because you bring the bacteria directly into your tissues.

The recommendations of the CDC to reduce the risk of Vibrio infection include that they do not eat raw or raw shellfish, especially oysters, and avoid swimming in brackish water and mouthwash if you have a skin injury (or at least one waterproof dressing)

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Although Vibrio cholerae does not pose a major health risk in the United States, there are 1.3 million to 4 million cases of cholera and up to There are 143,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

"When people travel to places where they are endemic, they can pick it up and bring it back," Gulig said, "but it's not a disease people are picking up in the US. We do not have them in our water and our food. It is primarily a disease of developing countries that are affected by poor sanitation and poor water supply. "[19659009DiemeistenMenschendieinfiziertsindhabenkeineoderleichtebismittelschwereSymptomeCholeraverursachtaucheinenwässrigenDurchfallderbehandeltwerdenkannindemderFlüssigkeitsverlustdurchWasserundElektrolyteundgelegentlichAntibiotikaersetztwirdUnbehandeltkanneineschwereDehydratationinnerhalbwenigerStundenzumTodführen

" For Cholera I would say that people who travel to endemic areas, travel overseas and see should what the recommendations vaccines are vaccine because there are new vaccines, "said Gulig.

Changes in recent years in Vibrio tests that have gone from bacterial cultures to more recent tests that may provide less information about Vibrio's specific strain causing an infection has made it difficult for the CDC to make changes from year to year u compare, said Dr Karen Wong, a doctor in the agency.

"But we've found that over the years we have seen Vibrio infections in places we have not seen before," Wong said, pointing to infections in more northerly areas.

Some experts argue that warmer climates explain the increase in infections and call it the microbial equivalent of a canary in a coal mine.

"With warmer temperatures, the Vibrios multiply," said Colwell. "They are multiplying, and they overgrow their competitors, which would keep them at bay at lower temperatures."


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