Summary of human Vibrio isolates reported to CDC, 2005
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      Infection with toxigenic Vibrio cholerae serogroups O1 and O139, the causative agents of cholera, has been a reportable disease in the United States for many years. In addition, since 1988, CDC has maintained a database of reported infection with any species of Vibrio from humans in order to obtain reliable information on illnesses associated with the range of Vibrio species. This information has been used to educate consumers about the health risks of seafood, as well as to help determine host, food, and environmental risk factors.

      This reporting system was initiated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), CDC, and the Gulf Coast states (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas) in 1988. Since 1997, many other states have also reported Vibrio isolates (Figure 1). However, only toxigenic V. cholerae O1 and O139 were nationally notifiable; thus the number of Vibrio isolates is greater than reported. Participating health officials collect clinical data, information about underlying illness, history of seafood consumption and exposure to seawater in the 7 days before illness, and conduct tracebacks of implicated oysters. CDC serotypes all V. parahaemolyticus isolates received from state health departments, and screens for cholera toxin production and the O1, O139, and O141 serogroups in V. cholerae isolates.

      In June 2006, the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists adopted a resolution to add all Vibrio species infections (vibriosis) to the list of nationally notifiable diseases reported to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS). Reporting of vibriosis is in addition to and distinct from reporting of cholera currently conducted through NNDSS.


      This report summarizes human Vibrio infections reported to CDC in 2005 using the reporting form for “Cholera and Other Vibrio Illness”. Results are presented in two categories: V. cholerae isolates that produce cholera toxin (referred to as toxigenic Vibrio cholerae), and all other Vibrio isolates, including those V. cholerae isolates that do not produce cholera toxin. Results are presented separately for Gulf Coast states versus other states to be consistent with previous reports. Additionally, results are presented by anatomic site of isolation. It is important to note that isolation of some Vibrio species from a patient with illness does not necessarily indicate causation. While many Vibrio species are well-recognized pathogens, the status of V. damsela, V. furnissii, V. metschnikovii, and V. cincinnatiensis as enteric or wound pathogens is less clear.

      Vibrio illnesses associated with Hurricane Katrina were reported to COVIS from eight states (Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Texas). The species reported were 26 V. vulnificus (72%), 6 nontoxigenic V. cholerae (17%), 3 V. parahaemolyticus (8%), and 1 (3%) unidentified Vibrio species. For patients with available information, 20 (91%) of 22 were considered wound infections because they reported having a wound either before or during exposure to Vibrio.

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