Characterization of the occurrence and abundance of Vibrio vulnificus in Galveston Bay
Vanoy, Jr., Rayford William
Oysters, suspended particulate matter, sediment, and seawater samples were collected from west Galveston Bay for four years and analyzed for the presence of Vibrio vulnificus, a natural human marine-pathogen. Vibrio vulnificus was not detected during cold water months except in sporadic sediment samples. Levels of the organisms began to increase in early spring. The major increase in the organisms occurred after the seawater temperature had risen above 20 degrees Celsius and salinity was below 16 ppt. When oysters were harvested, in order to purge them of V. vulnificus, they were subjected to winter temperatures and salinity. After one month the pathogen was non-detectable. However, after one year, the pathogens were still able to be cultured with water temperature of 30 degrees Celsius and salinity of 15 ppt.