Epidemic dynamics of vibrio parahaemolyticus illness in a hotspot of disease emergence, Galicia, Spain

Jaime Martinez-Urtaza*, Joaquin Trinanes, Michel Abanto, Antonio Lozano-Leon, Jose Llovo-Taboada, Marta Garcia-Campello, Anxela Pousa, Andy Powell, Craig Baker-Austin, Narjol Gonzalez-Escalona

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Galicia in northwestern Spain has been considered a hotspot for Vibrio parahaemolyticus infections. Infections abruptly emerged in 1998 and, over the next 15 years, were associated with large outbreaks caused by strains belonging to a single clone. We report a recent transition in the epidemiologic pattern in which cases throughout the region have been linked to different and unrelated strains. Global genome-wide phylogenetic analysis revealed that most of the pathogenic strains isolated from infections were associated with globally diverse isolates, indicating frequent episodic introductions from disparate and remote sources. Moreover, we identified that the 2 major switches in the epidemic dynamics of V. parahaemolyticus in the regions, the emergence of cases and an epidemiologic shift in 2015– 2016, were associated with the rise of sea surface temperature in coastal areas of Galicia. This association may represent a fundamental contributing factor in the emergence of illness linked to these introduced pathogenic strains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)852-859
Number of pages8
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


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