Occurrence of Vibrio vulnificus in mussel farms from the Varano lagoon environment


Luciano Beneduce, Department of Food Science, University of Foggia, via Napoli 25, 71122 Foggia, Italy. E-mail: l.beneduce@unifg.it


Aims:  Monitoring the occurrence of the human pathogen Vibrio vulnificus in a mussel farm located in the lagoon of Varano (Italy).

Methods and Results:  A total of 72 samples of mussel, water and sediment, collected from two locations of Varano lagoon in the Gargano peninsula, during a 7- month survey, were analysed. Isolation and PCR characterization of six V. vulnificus environmental genotype strains revealed that this pathogen was isolated when with T was above 22°C and salinity ranged between 22·7 and 26·4‰. No significant correlation of the occurrence of V. vulnificus with water pH or salinity was observed. Moreover, 8% of mussel samples were found to be contaminated by V. vulnificus. All of that positive mussel samples originated from the same sampling station.

Conclusion:  It is suggested that warmer season are risky to eat raw or undercooked bivalve molluscs in the local area.

Significance and Impact of the Study:  To increase knowledge about environmental conditions that may affect the occurrence of waterborne pathogen Vibrio vulnificus in seafood.