Vibrio alginolyticus

Vibrio alginolyticus is a gram-negative bacterium that is mainly detected in marine estuaries, coastal and aquatic environments. It may exist as free-living, a parasite or associated with surfaces of organisms such as marine animals and flora, and even humans.

Vibrio alginolyticus causes otitis, ocular infections, intracranial infection, peritonitis, osteomyelitis, seafood-poisoning or fatal infections in humans, such as necrotizing soft-tissue infections, bacteremia, septic shock, and multiple organ failures. Delayed diagnosis and treatment of most Vibrio infections usually result to high mortality rates.1

Vibriosis is one of the most important bacterial diseases affecting both marine and freshwater fish, shellfish, and crustaceans species under intensive culture conditions. Larval enteropathy is the most important pathology affecting this species at hatcheries, which is responsible for great reduction in survival rates. V. alginolyticus alone, or in synergy with other bacteria such as Aeromonas hydrophila, constitutes the major causative agent of larval enteropathy. V. alginolyticus enters the system through live prey (artemia brine shrimp and rotifers) which serve as vehicles for introducing the bacteria into the hatchery tanks.3

Disinfection techniques (filters, ozone, UV etc.) in marine hatcheries cannot offer a completely bacteria—free environment and may lead to microbial imbalance leaving environmental niche wide open for the proliferation of opportunistic pathogens. Effective vaccines have been successfully applied in various farmed fish to prevent vibriosis outbreaks caused by a variety of Vibrio species. Chemotherapy with antibiotics or other veterinary drugs is far from satisfactory because of the appearance of antibiotic-resistant strains. However, there is as yet no specific vaccine available againstVibrio alginolyticus, and commercial vaccine products appear to not be effective for controlling vibriosis in local fish farms.2 In fragile systems like marine hatcheries the use of bacteriophages, viruses that infect bacteria, is a promising alternative since they can selectively remove their bacterial hosts, while leaving natural microbiota unaffected. Phage therapy with φSt2 and φGrn1 can effectively be used in the biological control of the Vibrio load in marine hatcheries, through live prey disinfection.3


  1. An Innovative Method for Rapid Identification and Detection of Vibrio alginolyticus in Different Infection Models. Kaifei Fu, Jun Li, Yuxiao Wang, Jianfei Liu, He Yan, Lei Shi, and Lijun Zhou
  2. Vaccination of Silver Sea Bream (Sparus sarba) against Vibrio alginolyticus: Protective Evaluation of Different Vaccinating Modalities. Jun Li, Siyuan Ma, and Norman Y. S. Woo
  3. Isolation and Characterization of Two Lytic Bacteriophages, φSt2 and φGrn1; Phage Therapy Application for Biological Control of Vibrio alginolyticus in Aquaculture Live Feeds. Panos G. Kalatzis, Roberto Bastías, Constantina Kokkari, and Pantelis Katharios



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