Multiple strains of Vibrio vulnificus, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, and Vibrio cholerae non-O1 were tested in phosphate-buffered saline for their sensitivity to high-pressure processing (HPP). Variability in sensitivity among strains was observed for all species; this variability decreased at higher pressures. V. vulnificus was the species that was most sensitive to treatment at 200 MPa (decimal reduction time [D] = 26 s), and V. cholerae was the species that was most resistant to treatment at 200 MPa (D = 149 s). The O3:K6 serotype of V. parahaemolyticus was more resistant to pressure than other serotypes of V. parahaemolyticus were. The results of studies involving V. vulnificus naturally occurring in oysters revealed that a pressure treatment of 250 MPa for 120 s achieved a >5-log reduction in the levels of this bacterium. V. parahaemolyticus serotype O3:K6 in oysters required a pressure of 300 MPa for 180 s for a comparable 5-log reduction. When properly applied, HPP can be effective in improving the safety of shellfish with respect to Vibrio spp.

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