Oh, Barnacles…

Well…oysters to be more accurate.

On October 1st, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) have announced a 14-day closure of oyster beds located in Duxbury Bay, Kingston Bay, Bluefish River, Back River, and Plymouth Harbor following two new cases of Vibrio parahaemolyticus have been linked to oysters harvested from those regions. Six cases have now been linked to oysters in Massachusetts over the course of 30 days.

vibrio

differentiations of Vibrio spp. on a HardyCHROM Vibrio plate.

With this many reported cases, a federally mandated closure of oyster harvesting has gone into effect due to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration/National Shellfish Sanitation Program’s Model Ordinance.  If more than 10 cases of Vibrio are reported while this closure is in effect, the closure will be extended to 21 days. According to state officials, this is to allow for water and ambient air temperatures to steadily cool so as to lessen the risk of the bacteria as Vibrio tend to prefer warmer temps.

Vibrio actually have a “season” in Massachusetts which runs from May to October. State officials warn those are at high risk, such as the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, to avoid eating raw shellfish. While cooking seafood kills the bacteria, the slurping of raw shell fish like oysters opens the possibility of illness.  While the consumption raw shell fish is the most common means of infection by Vibrio, open wounds in warmer seawater are possible means for infection.

Hardy Diagnostics introduces HardyCHROM™ Vibrio which is recommended for use as a selective and differential growth medium for the cultivation, isolation, and differentiation of Vibrio spp.
from food and environmental samples. It is the only chromogenic media to differentiate Vibrio cholerae, Virbioparahaemolyticus, and Vibrio vulnificus on the same plate. It has an even great performance than a TCBS plate with greater specificity and sensitivity. Save money by screening with HardyCHROM before using expensive molecular methods. Also available in Criterion dehydrated culture media form.

Daniel Ballew
Written by Daniel Ballew
Daniel is a Marketing Associate for Hardy Diagnostics. He earned his bachelor’s degree in History and a certificate in World Religions at California Polytechnic San Luis Obispo in San Luis Obispo, California where he studied mythology and the development of Christianity.

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