Presence of virulence markers in environmental Vibrio vulnificus strains



Carlos Vázquez Salinas, Departamento de Biotecnología, DCBS-UAM-Iztapalapa. San Rafael Atlixco #186, Col. Vicentina, 09340 Mexico, DF, Mexico. E-mail:



This work aims to demonstrate the presence of several genes and factors associated with virulence in strains isolated from the environment at Pueblo Viejo Lagoon, State of Veracruz, Mexico.

Methods and Results

In this study, we investigated the production of V. vulnificus virulence factors, as cytolysin (haemolysin), RTX toxin, metalloprotease, siderophores, capsular polysaccharide, adhesion structures (like type IV pili), and polar and lateral flagella, involved in swimming and swarming (or, at least, the presence of genes encoding some of them) in 40 strains of V. vulnificus isolated from water and food. The results indicate that strains of environmental origin possess potential virulence characteristics.


Caution should be exercised when consuming raw shellfish (especially by those more susceptible risk groups).

Significance and Impact of the Study

This is the first work focused on the evaluation of V. vulnificus virulence factors in Mexico.