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Presence of pathogenic Vibrio species in fresh mussels harvested in the southern Rias of Galicia (NW Spain)

Garrido-Maestu, Alejandro, Lozano-León, Antonio, Rodríguez-Souto, Rafael R., Vieites-Maneiro, Ramón, Chapela, María-José, Cabado, Ana G.
Food control 2016 v.59 pp. 759-765
Vibrio cholerae, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Vibrio vulnificus, antibiotic resistance, diagnostic techniques, estuaries, genes, human diseases, markets, mussels, pathogens, public health, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, tetracycline, virulence, Spain
Spain is the third mussel producer worldwide, and the main supplier to the European market, coming 98% of this production from Galicia. Pathogenic species from the genus Vibrio pose a considerable public health threat as the causative agents of both sporadic and epidemic human infections. Vibrio cholerae, Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus are the most significant pathogens within this genus. The aims of this study were to investigate the prevalence of human pathogenic Vibrio species in Galician mussels from different geographical areas, and determine their pathogenic profiles by qPCR as rapid diagnostic method. Out of the 101 samples, 72% of the V. parahaemolyticus positive samples, carried at least one virulence factor (tdh and/or trh), being trh was the most prevalent (37%). The highest number of positive samples was found during October and September. During the period of study neither Vibrio vulnificus nor V. cholerae were detected. After enrichment, positive samples were tested for antibiotic resistance genes (ermB and tetQ) by qPCR. No resistance was detected against tetracycline. On the contrary, 52% of the samples were positive for ermB, and out of these, 78% also had, either one or both, V. parahaemolyticus virulence factors.