At some point between 2002 and 2006 I attended a departmental seminar in the UK on Vibrio infections, and particularly on the (then relatively unheard of) V. vulnificus, which causes necrotizing wound infections and septicemia when it enters open wounds. The speaker discussed two case studies: the first was of a case (possibly a cluster of cases) in a garage, I think in Australia, where the workers repeatedly topped up a liquid soap dispenser from a big bottle rather than replacing the bottle, and it had at some point become contaminated with V. vulnificus, which had survived in the soap, and infected an individual who went to wash their hands because they cut themselves.

The second case, which I only mention because it was part of the same talk and I have a suspicion the seminar speaker (whose name I can't remember) might have written papers on both, was about the rise in V. vulnificus cases in the Middle East (Israel, I think) which arose from a new trend for fish markets offering live fish in tanks at market rather than transporting them for a few hours on ice before sale (which was previously killing the bacteria, which occurred fairly ubiquitously in Israeli fish farms due to the high water table and high groundwater salinity).

This was a great seminar with two great stories that illustrate the ecology of Vibrios and I'd love to have sources for either, but particularly the first one. However, I can find no mention of either in the literature. Can anyone help?


1 Answer 1


The Isreali outbreak (associated with changes in fish marketing) was reported in Lancet a few times. It was particularly important for identifying biogroup 3. I hope that might be helpful, but I'm not sure it will be. Since it was an important epidemic, I wouldn't be surprised if it was discussed in a visiting lecture by someone who wasn't part of the Isreal Vibrio study group.

I'm not aware of a soap dispenser case for V. vulnificus, but soap dispensers have been implicated in the transmission of other pathogens. Could it have been some other halophilic bacteria, possibly another Vibrio?


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