Vibrio Vulnificus Infection Symptoms and Treatment

Vibrio Vulnificus is a Gram-negative pathogenic bacteria, isolated as a disease causing agent in 1976. It a rod-shaped bacteria mostly found in marine environment. Vibrio Vulnificus is related to Vibrio Cholera, which is the bacteria that causes Cholera.

Vibrio Vulnificus Infection

Vibrio Vulnificus Infection mostly occurs in marine environment or by eating sea food, especially shellfish or oysters. This infection can occur through contaminated food or through some open wound exposed to contaminated water. If this infection spreads into blood stream then it can be a life threatening condition. People with weak immune system or chronic liver disease are more prone to Vibrio Vulnificus Infection. This infection have a mortality rate around 25% . On an average 90 cases of this infection are reported to CDC every year.

Types of Vibrio Vulnificus Infection


  • Acute gastroenteritis: This infection occurs after eating seafood especially uncooked shellfish or oysters. Infected food can't be distinguished by its appearance, taste and odor. 
  • Necrotizing wound infections: Vibrio Vulnificus can enter the body of a human being through an open wound. If injured skin is exposed to contaminated water the this bacteria can enter into body through it. Puncture wounds due to spines of fished such as tilapia, catfish or stingrays can cause such type of infection.  
  • Invasive septicemia: If Vibrio Vulnificus enters the blood stream of a person with weak immune system then it is Invasive septicemia. This type of infection is most severe one and mortality rate is upto 50%. It can also occur in people with chronic liver disease. Most of the people with this type of Vibrio Vulnificus Infection die within 48 hours after infection.

Vibrio Vulnificus Infection Symptoms

Symptoms of  Vibrio Vulnificus Infection are different for different types of Vibrio Vulnificus Infection.

  • Vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain are symptoms of Acute gastroenteritis.
  • Blistering skin lesions are found in people suffering from Necrotizing wound infections or Invasive septicemia.
  • Septic shock (decreased blood pressure) can occur in Invasive septicemia which can lead to death sometimes.

Vibrio Vulnificus Infection Treatment


  • First successful documented treatment of Vibrio Vulnificus Infection was done in 1995. That treatment was done with Fortaz and intravenous (IV) Cipro and IV doxycycline.
  • Quinolone or intravenous doxycycline with ceftazidime are recommended by CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and AMA (American Medical Association).

Note: If you search for Vibrio Vulnificus Infection on google images, then the results can be too unpleasant for you to view.
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