The effect of off-bottom versus on-bottom oyster culture on total and pathogenic Vibrio spp. abundances in oyster tissue, water and sediment samples
International Journal of Food Microbiology
Varying culture methods are commonly used for eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica, aquaculture in the Northeast United States. Vibrio vulnificus and V. parahaemolyticus, two human pathogenic bacteria species, accumulate in this edible, filter feeding shellfish. This study examined the use of two methods in an intertidal area (oysters cultured in trays and in bags on sediment) and two methods in a subtidal area (oysters cultured in trays and loose on the sediment) in Massachusetts over the growing season in 2015. Abundance of total V. vulnificus along with total and pathogenic (tdh+/trh+) V. parahaemolyticus were determined in oysters, sediment and water using real-time PCR. Temperature, salinity, turbidity and chlorophyll were continually measured every 15 min at each location. There were significantly higher abundances of total and pathogenic V. parahaemolyticus in on-bottom cultured oysters, while significantly higher abundances of V. vulnificus were identified in oysters from off-bottom culture in a subtidal location in Duxbury Bay, MA. In an intertidal location, Wellfleet Bay, MA, significantly higher abundances of total and tdh+ V. parahaemolyticus were found in off-bottom oysters, but significantly higher abundances of V. vulnificus and trh+ V. parahaemolyticus were found in on-bottom oysters. Spearman's correlation indicated that temperature is positively associated with concentrations of Vibrio spp. in oysters, water and sediment, but positive correlations between salinity and Vibrio spp. was also observed. Conversely, turbidity had a negative effect on Vibrio spp. concentrations in all sample types. There was no observed relationship inferred between chlorophyll and Vibrio spp. abundances in oysters, water or sediment.
Scro, A., Westphalen, J., Kite-Powell, H., Brawley, J., & Smolowitz, R. (2022). The effect of off-bottom versus on-bottom oyster culture on total and pathogenic Vibrio spp. abundances in oyster tissue, water and sediment samples. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 379 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2022.109870