ABSTRACT

The growth of and hemolysin production by two V. alginolyticus strains (HY9901 and ATCC 17749T) at 30°C were investigated in briny tilapia, shrimp, scallop, oyster, pork, chicken, freshwater fish, and egg fried rice. Bacteria were enumerated by plate counting. Hemolysin production was evaluated with blood agar and hemolytic titer tests. The two V. alginolyticus strains had similar growth and hemolysin production patterns in all tested foods. Based on the goodness-of-fit primary model statistics (coefficient of determination, mean square error, bias factor, and accuracy factor), the modified Gompertz model was a better fit than the logistic model to V. alginolyticus growth in foods. Growth kinetic parameters of V. alginolyticus had a higher μmax and shorter λ in the following order: briny tilapia > shrimp > freshwater fish > egg fried rice > scallop > oyster > chicken > pork. V. alginolyticus levels were similar at the stationary phase, with no significant growth difference between raw and cooked foods. Significantly higher thermostable direct hemolysin activity (P < 0.05) was found for V. alginolyticus in the following order: briny tilapia > freshwater fish > shrimp > chicken > egg fried rice > scallop > oyster > pork. However, the hemolytic titer was not consistent with the thermostable direct hemolysin activity and was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in the following order: briny tilapia > egg fried rice > shrimp > freshwater fish > chicken > scallop > oyster > pork. Contrary to current belief, V. alginolyticus produced more hemolysin in some nonseafoods (freshwater fish, egg fried rice, and chicken) than in scallops or oysters. This report is the first on the growth and toxicity of V. alginolyticus in different food matrices and confirms that some nonseafoods can be contaminated with pathogenic V. alginolyticus. These results should increase awareness of nonseafood safety issues and improve the accuracy of V. alginolyticus risk assessments.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • V. alginolyticus growth and hemolysin production in various food types were evaluated.

  • V. alginolyticus counts were similar in all food samples at the stationary phase.

  • Thermostable direct hemolysin activity and hemolytic titers were higher in some nonseafoods.

  • No growth or hemolytic activity differences were noted between raw and cooked foods.

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