Vibrio infections – the little known danger from the sea

Vibrio infections - the little known danger from the sea

Vibrio infections & The little known danger from the sea

Hardly anyone knows them – the Vibrio infections. These are not that rare and can often have serious consequences. Vibrio infections are triggered by bacteria called vibrios. Vibrios usually live in the water, and they can occur in both salt and fresh water. The most well-known Vibrio pathogen is Vibrio cholerae, which is the cholera triggers. It is an acute gastrointestinal infection caused by contaminated water, which can be fatal. Another Vibrio In turn, the pathogen is transmitted by seafood or raw fish and triggers vomiting diarrhea. This is particularly common in Japan, which is probably also related to the local food culture.

Vibrio vulnificus – dangerous pathogen also on Germany’s coasts

Especially in the warmer months is the pathogen Vibrio vulnificus also in Germany of importance, where again and again cases of infections by Baltic Sea water have become known. The bacterium is found worldwide in salty seawater and brackish water, with a particularly strong increase of the pathogen occurs at a temperature of about 20 degrees Celsius. The occurrence of Vibrio vulnificus is unrelated to fecal contamination of the water.

After consumption of food with the pathogen it can come after about 16 hours to vomiting diarrhea, especially older and immunocompromised patients often a few hours after ingestion of contaminated food can form a septicemia with multiple organ failure and skin rashes. For example, in the case of people who are weak in their health, the low bacterial count of around 100 bacteria can be enough to cause a disease. Contact with skin injuries from seawater and skin injuries caused by shellfish such as mussels, crabs or oysters can lead to serious wound infections. Often even extremities have to be amputated.

Fast and effective therapy is important

In general, diseases caused by vibrios are rare in Germany, but they are often characterized by a very serious course, which can result in severe wound infections and blood poisoning. Especially people with chronic pre-existing conditions and open wounds are particularly at risk. Since the course of the disease is often very fast and difficult, the earliest possible antibacterial therapy is crucial. In addition, you should always make sure that you do not eat raw seafood raw and fish well through to avoid food infections. Persons with open or poorly healing wounds should not expose them to contact with seawater, especially during the summer months. Also, people with pre-existing immunological diseases should exercise caution with regard to summer bathing in the sea.

Vibrio vulnificus could be detected in Germany both at bathing sites on the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, where it has come in several people to infections.

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Christina Cherry
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