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Microb Ecol. 2014 May;67(4):849-56. doi: 10.1007/s00248-014-0382-9. Epub 2014 Feb 28.

Vibrio parahaemolyticus and its specific bacteriophages as an indicator in cockles (Anadara granosa) for the risk of V. parahaemolyticus infection in Southern Thailand.

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Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Songkhla, Thailand.


Correlation between the numbers of Vibrio parahaemolyticus and its specific bacteriophages in cockles was investigated from June 2009 to May 2010 in Hat Yai, Songkhla, Thailand. Cockles obtained monthly from a local market were sampled to determine the numbers of V. parahaemolyticus and bacteriophages that could form plaques on ten strains of pandemic and nonpandemic V. parahaemolyticus. In addition, V. parahaemolyticus isolates from clinical samples from Hat Yai hospital over the same period were investigated. All 139 cockles sampled were positive for V. parahaemolyticus. However, only 76 of them were positive for bacteriophages. During the testing period, the number of bacteriophages was not significantly correlated with the incidence of V. parahaemolyticus-infected patients, but the numbers of V. parahaemolyticus isolates from the cockle samples were closely related to the number of infected patients. The bacteriophages isolated from V. parahaemolyticus also infected Vibrio alginolyticus and Vibrio mimicus, suggesting that the broad host range of phages may be a factor of providing the possibility of their participation in the processes of genetic exchange between V. parahaemolyticus and closely related Vibrio spp. In conclusion, this study indicated that the number of V. parahaemolyticus in cockles may be a useful tool for predicting the relative risk of infection by V. parahaemolyticus in this area of Thailand.

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