Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a marine bacterium recognized as an important cause of gastroenteritis in humans consuming contaminated shellfish. In recent years, increasing resistance to ampicillin and aminoglycosides has been observed among V. parahaemolyticus isolates. However, the first-line antimicrobials such as tetracyclines and fluoroquinolones remained highly effective against these bacteria. The aim of this study was to evaluate the occurrence of V. parahaemolyticus in live bivalve molluscs available on the Polish market and to determine the antimicrobial resistance of the recovered isolates. A total of 400 shellfish samples (mussels, oysters, clams, and scallops) from 2009 to 2012 were tested using the International Organization for Standardization standard 21872-1 method and PCR for the species-specific toxR gene. Antimicrobial susceptibility of the isolates was determined using a microbroth dilution method. V. parahaemolyticus was identified in 70 (17.5%) of the 400 samples, and the toxR gene was confirmed in 64 (91.4%) of these isolates. Most of the isolates were recovered from clams (31 isolates; 48.4% prevalence) followed by mussels (17 isolates; 26.6% prevalence). More V. parahaemolyticus–positive samples were found between May and September (22.7% prevalence) than between October and April (11.4% prevalence). Antibiotic profiling revealed that most isolates were resistant to ampicillin (56 isolates; 87.5%) and to streptomycin (45 isolates; 70.3%), but all of them were susceptible to tetracycline and chloramphenicol. Forty-one isolates (64.1%) were resistant to two or more antimicrobials; however, only one isolate (1.6%) was resistant to three antimicrobial classes. The antimicrobials used in treatment of human V. parahaemolyticus infection had high efficacy against the bacterial isolates tested. This study is the first concerning antibiotic resistance of V. parahaemolyticus isolates in Poland, and the results obtained indicate that these bacteria may pose a health risk to consumers.

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