Reduction in the V. vulnificus Load in Oysters....
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GRANT NUMBER:  NA97FD0062          NMFS NUMBER:  99-SER-017

REPORT TITLE:  Reduction in the V. vulnificus Load in Oysters by a Novel-Short-Term Combination Biodepuration Treatment

AUTHOR: Ronald B. Luftig

PUBLISH DATE:  March 30, 2001

AVAILABLE FROM:  National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Regional Office, 9721 Executive Center Drive North, St. Petersburg, FL 33702.   PHONE: (813) 570-5364


A short-term biodepuration system that used a battery of high-titered Vibrio vulnificus-specific phage strains combined with a specific anti-V. vulnificus oyster protein (AVVOP) and that experienced exposure to a temperature of 4 degrees C for several hours was found to significantly reduce the V. vulnificus load in oysters destined to be consumed raw. Live oysters were placed in tanks containing natural or artificial estuarine water to which a pooled mixture of nine V. vulnificus phage strains together with a known concentration of AVVOP had been added. After a 4-to-6 hour exposure, the oysters were removed from the tank and stored overnight at 4 degrees C. The "shotgun" use of the phage strains along with AVVOP and subsequent exposure to a 4 degrees C temperature resulted in the V. vulnificus present in the oyster being lysed by one or more of the phage strains. If it was not lysed, the V. vulnificus was inactivated by the combined presence of AVVOP and cold temperature. The investigators outlined a simple, safe, feasible, relatively inexpensive, and non–labor-intensive method for reducing the V. vulnificus load in oysters destined to be eaten raw through exposure to the combined effects of pooled V. vulnificus-specific phage, AVVOP, and a temperature of 4 degrees C.

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