The thiosulfate–citrate–bile salts–sucrose agar (TCBS) used in the most-probable-number method for detecting Vibrio parahaemolyticus cannot differentiate growth of V. parahaemolyticus from Vibrio vulnificus or Vibrio mimicus. This study examined the selectivity and specificity of Bio-Chrome Vibrio medium (BCVM), a chromogenic medium that detects V. parahaemolyticus on the basis of the formation of distinct purple colonies on the medium. A panel consisting of 221 strains of bacteria, including 179 Vibrio spp. and 42 non-Vibrio spp., were examined for their ability to grow and produce colored colonies on BCVM. Growth of Salmonella, Shigella, Escherichia coli, Enterobacter cloacae, Yersinia enterocolitica, and Aeromonas was inhibited by both BCVM and TCBS. All 148 strains of V. parahaemolyticus grew on BCVM, and 145 of them produced purple colonies. The remaining 31 Vibrio spp., except one strain of Vibrio fluvialis, were either unable to grow or produced blue-green or white colonies on BCVM. Bio-Chrome Vibrio medium was capable of differentiating V. parahaemolyticus from other species, including V. vulnificus and V. mimicus. Further studies are needed to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of BCVM for detecting V. parahaemolyticus in foods.

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