VIBRIO VULNIFICUS (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci & Tech (Diseases))

News-CRUX-10     28th September 2023        

Context: According to Researchers, the number of cases of Vibrio vulnificus could increase significantly in the coming years.

  • In India, the sea surface temperatures average 28°C, making the waters conducive to the growth and proliferation of V vulnificus. 
  • These pathogens thrive in the tropics or subtropics, where sea or brackish water temperatures reach 20°C or higher. They also prefer waters with low salinity.

Vibrio vulnificus

  • About: Vibrio vulnificus is a species of Gram-negative, motile, curved rod-shaped (vibrio), pathogenic bacteria of the genus Vibrio. 
  • Habitat: It is present in marine environments such as estuaries, brackish ponds, or coastal areas.
  • Conditions preferred:  Sea or brackish water temperatures about 20°C or higher. They also prefer waters with low salinity. High rainfall also reduces salt levels in the sea, which suits the bacteria.
  • Transmission: By eating infected raw shellfish (which results in diarrhea, vomiting, and fever) or by exposing wounds to waters where the bacteria live.
  • Impact: Infection with V. vulnificus leads to rapidly expanding skin infections by entering a wound causing cellulitis or even sepsis. V. vulnificus is also a source of foodborne illness.
  • Treatment: Treatment becomes difficult when the bacteria enter the bloodstream. The risk is even higher among people with comorbidities such as chronic liver disease, cancer, chronic kidney disease, and diabetes.

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