Vibrio vulnificus

species of bacterium

Vibrio vulnificus is a form of bacteria that can make people ill, as when eating bad clams or oysters, and more in people with a liver disease. Vibrio vulnificus is a species of Gram-negative, motile, curved rod-shaped (bacillus), pathogenic bacteria of the genus Vibrio. Present in marine environments such as estuaries, brackish ponds, or coastal areas, V. vulnificus is related to V. cholerae, as a bacteria which can give people cholera.[3][4]

Vibrio vulnificus
False-color SEM image of "Vibrio vulnificus"
False-color SEM image of Vibrio vulnificus
Scientific classification e
Domain: Bacteria
Phylum: Pseudomonadota
Class: Gammaproteobacteria
Order: Vibrionales
Family: Vibrionaceae
Genus: Vibrio
V. vulnificus
Binomial name
Vibrio vulnificus
(Reichelt et al. 1976)[1]
Farmer 1979[2]

Infection with V. vulnificus leads to rapidly expanding cellulitis or sepsis.[5]:279 It was first isolated as a source of disease in 1976.[6] The capsule, made of polysaccharides, is thought to protect against phagocytosis. The observed connection of the infection with liver disease (associated with increased serum iron) might be due to the capability of more virulent strains to capture iron bound to transferrin.[7]


  1. Reichelt JL, Baumann P, Baumann L (October 1976). "Study of genetic relationships among marine species of the genera Beneckea and Photobacterium by means of in vitro DNA/DNA hybridization". Arch. Microbiol. 110 (1): 101–20. doi:10.1007/bf00416975. PMID 1015934. S2CID 23759213.
  2. Farmer JJ (October 1979). "Vibrio ("Beneckea") vulnificus, the bacterium associated with sepsis, septicaemia, and the sea". Lancet. 314 (8148): 903. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(79)92715-6. PMID 90993. S2CID 34979437.
  3. Oliver JD, Kaper J (2001). Vibrio species. pp. 263-300 In: Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers. (Doyle MP et al., editors) (2nd ed.). ASM Press. ISBN 1-55581-117-5.
  4. Oliver JD (2005). "Wound infections caused by Vibrio vulnificus and other marine bacteria". Epidemiol Infect. 133 (3): 383–91. doi:10.1017/S0950268805003894. PMC 2870261. PMID 15962544.
  5. James, William D.; Berger, Timothy G. (2006). Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. Saunders Elsevier. ISBN 0-7216-2921-0.
  6. Hollis DG, Weaver RE, Baker CN, Thornsberry C (April 1976). "Halophilic Vibrio species isolated from blood cultures". J. Clin. Microbiol. 3 (4): 425–31. doi:10.1128/jcm.3.4.425-431.1976. PMC 274318. PMID 1262454. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-04-17. Retrieved 2019-01-01.
  7. Oxford Handbook of Infect Dis and Microbiol, 2009.