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Clin Infect Dis. 2002 Oct 15;35(8):921-8. Epub 2002 Sep 25.

Infectious outbreaks associated with bivalve shellfish consumption: a worldwide perspective.

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Infectious Diseases, Bnai Zion Medical Center, and the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion, Haifa, Israel.


Outbreaks of shellfish-associated infection have been reported for more than a century. Since the early 1970s, the global consumption of shellfish has increased considerably--and with it, the reports of outbreaks of infection. Most of these reports have originated from the United States, but Europe and, to a lesser extent, Asia and Australia have also been represented. The majority of outbreaks have been linked to oysters, followed by clams and mussels. Hepatitis A virus caused the largest ever shellfish-associated outbreak, but caliciviruses have caused the highest number of outbreaks; Vibrio species lead the list of bacterial pathogens. The prognosis of shellfish-associated infections is generally good, except for outbreaks of Vibrio vulnificus infection, which have a mortality rate of up to 50% in vulnerable people. Conventional and molecular techniques should be applied to better identify the causative agents, thereby enabling more-targeted control measures in growing, harvesting, and shipping bivalves.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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