Potentially human pathogenic vibrios in marine and fresh bathing waters related to environmental conditions and disease outcome

F. M. Schets, H. H J L van den Berg, A. Marchese, S. Garbom, A. M. de Roda Husman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 2009, four bathing sites in The Netherlands were monitored for potentially human pathogenic Vibrio species to observe possible associations with environmental conditions and health complaints. Three slightly different enrichment procedures were used to isolate Vibrio species with different growth requirements. Waters were generally positive for Vibrio from May until October; median Vibrio concentrations ranged from 4 to 383 MPN per litre (maximum 10 5 MPN per litre). Isolated Vibrio species included V. alginolyticus (50.6%) and V. parahaemolyticus (8.5%) from bathing sites with salinities ranging between 2.8 and 3.5% and V. cholerae non-O1/O139 (6.9%) from sites with salinities ranging between 0.007 and 0.08%. Although more samples were positive for Vibrio at elevated water temperatures, a quantitative relation between Vibrio numbers in water samples and the water temperature was not observed which may be explained by maximum water temperatures of 21°C. Active surveillance yielded one case of a recreational water related Vibrio infection. V. cholerae non-O1/O139 was cultured from the patient's wound and the implicated recreational water; PFGE profiles of the water and patient isolates were not identical. The number of patients that contract a Vibrio infection through exposure to Dutch recreational waters seems low, but may be underestimated. The common occurrence of Vibrio species in these waters stresses the need for providing information on Vibrio to risk groups to prevent infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-406
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


  • Bathing water
  • Public health
  • Recreational water
  • Vibrio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Potentially human pathogenic vibrios in marine and fresh bathing waters related to environmental conditions and disease outcome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this