Assessing the Influence of Land-Based Discharges (Streams, Storm Drain, Groundwater) on the Concentrations and Ratio of Four Human Pathogenic Marine Vibrio spp. in Four Categories of Coastal Water Environments of Hawaii
National Institute for Water Resources, Water Resources Research Institute Program
3/1/2009 – 2/28/2010
Vibrios are indigenous marine bacteria capable of causing disease in both marine animals and humans. The four main human pathogens, V. vulnificus, V. cholerae, V. parahaemolyticus and V. alginolyticus, can cause mild to severe gastroenteritis, septicemia and wound infections. Several infections from V. vulnificus and V. cholerae have occurred in Hawaii as well as two recent deaths due to V. vulnificus. The goal of this study was to determine the influence of land based discharges (streams, storm drains, groundwater) on the concentrations and ratio of four human pathogenic Vibrio spp. (V. vulnificus, V. cholerae, V. parahaemolyticus, V. alginolyticus) in four categories of coastal water environments that are used for contact recreational purposes. Selective media was used to determine concentrations, and biochemical assays and molecular methods were used to confirm the identities of Vibrio isolates. Various water quality parameters (salinity, pH, conductivity, turbidity) as well as a nutrient marker were used as indicators of coastal water contamination by land-based discharges. Data obtained from this study was used as a predictor of risk of Vibrio infection to people who use these coastal waters for recreation or as a source of seafood.