Vibrio parahaemolyticus

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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Eubacteria
Phylum: Proteobacteria
Class: Gamma proteobacteria
Order: Vibrionales
Family: Vibrionaceae
Genus: Vibrio
Species: parahaemolyticus
Binomial name
Vibrio parahaemolyticus

Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a rod-shaped, Gram-negative bacterium, a halophilic organism requiring salt for growth.

It is the chief cause of acute diarrhea in Japan, has caused significant outbreaks of food borne disease along both the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf Coast areas of the US, and is also a very significant pathogen in other areas of Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. As opposed to V. cholerae, which cause classic cholera produced by enterotoxin alone, it appears to be invasive as well as producing a toxin. The diarrheal illness is preventable by proper handling of the food vector, especially shrimp or crab. It is rarely contagious between people, probably related to a high inoculum required for infection.[1]

Most cases of V. parahaemolyticus do not require specific antimicrobial therapy, as they are self-limited. Other halophilic vibrios such as V. vulnificus and V. alginolyticus are not generally associated with diarrhea but instead cause soft tissue infection and/or bacteremia.


  1. Vibrio parahaemolyticus -- Fatal, ProMED mailing list, International Society for Infectious Diseases, 9 April 2009