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Quantitative Risk Assessment of Vibrio parahaemolyticus in Finfish: A Model of Raw Horse Mackerel Consumption in Japan


Address correspondence to Jun’ichiro Iwahori, Kochi Medical School, Okohcho-Kohasu, Nankoku, Kochi 783-8505, Japan; tel: +81-88-880-2276; fax: +81-88-880-2278;


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of implemented control measures to reduce illness induced by Vibrio parahaemolyticus (V. parahaemolyticus) in horse mackerel (Trachurus japonicus), seafood that is commonly consumed raw in Japan. On the basis of currently available experimental and survey data, we constructed a quantitative risk model of V. parahaemolyticus in horse mackerel from harvest to consumption. In particular, the following factors were evaluated: bacterial growth at all stages, effects of washing the fish body and storage water, and bacterial transfer from the fish surface, gills, and intestine to fillets during preparation. New parameters of the beta-Poisson dose-response model were determined from all human feeding trials, some of which have been used for risk assessment by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA). The probability of illness caused by V. parahaemolyticus was estimated using both the USFDA dose-response parameters and our parameters for each selected pathway of scenario alternatives: washing whole fish at landing, storage in contaminated water, high temperature during transportation, and washing fish during preparation. The last scenario (washing fish during preparation) was the most effective for reducing the risk of illness by about a factor of 10 compared to no washing at this stage. Risk of illness increased by 50% by exposure to increased temperature during transportation, according to our assumptions of duration and temperature. The other two scenarios did not significantly affect risk. The choice of dose-response parameters was not critical for evaluation of control measures.