Stemming the rising tide of Vibrio disease

Craig Baker-Austin, Iain Lake, Elizabeth Archer, Rachel Hartnell, Joaquin Trinanes, Jaime Martinez-Urtaza

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Globally, the diverse bacterial genus Vibrio is the most important group of bacterial pathogens found in marine and coastal waters. These bacteria can cause an array of human infections via direct exposure to seawater or through the consumption of seafoods grown and cultivated in coastal and estuarine settings. Crucially, we appear to be on the cusp of an alarming global increase in Vibrio disease. A worldwide increase in seafood consumption, the globalisation of the seafood trade, the more frequent use of coastal waters for recreational activities, and climate change all contribute to greatly increased human health risks associated with Vibrio bacteria. Coupled with a population that is increasingly susceptible to more serious infections, we are likely to see a marked increase in both reported cases and fatalities in the near future. In this Personal View, we discuss and frame this important and emerging public health issue, and provide various contemporary case studies to illustrate how the risk profiles of pathogenic Vibrio bacteria have transformed in the past two decades—particularly in response to changing climatological and meteorological drivers such as marine coastal warming and extreme weather events such as heatwaves and storms. We share various approaches to help better understand and manage risks associated with these bacteria, ranging from risk mitigation strategies to enhanced epidemiological monitoring and surveillance approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e515-e520
JournalThe Lancet Planetary Health
Issue number7
Early online date3 Jul 2024
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2024

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