Chronic Liver Disease and Consumption of Raw Oysters: A Potentially Lethal Combination–A Review ofVibrio vulnificusSepticemia

Haq, Samir M.; Dayal, Hari H.
May 2005
American Journal of Gastroenterology;May2005, Vol. 100 Issue 5, p1195
Academic Journal
Vibrio vulnificussepticemia is the most common cause of fatality related to seafood consumption in the United States. It occurs predominantly in patients with chronic liver disease following consumption of raw oysters.V. vulnificusis a highly virulent human pathogen, normally found in warm estuarine and marine environment. It lodges in filter feeders like oysters. The onset of this illness is abrupt, rapidly progressing to septic shock with a high mortality. Clinicians managing patients with chronic liver disease need to educate their patients of the risk associated with the consumption of raw seafood, especially oysters. A high index of suspicion is necessary for appropriate treatments, as doxycycline, the antibiotic of choice, is not usually a part of the empiric therapy for septicemia. The high mortality associated with this septicemia demands aggressive preventive measures: susceptible individuals must be forewarned by signs displayed in restaurants; physicians must educate patients with chronic liver disease about the risk of raw oyster consumption; and harvesting methods which reduce contamination byV. vulnificusmust be utilized.(Am J Gastroenterol 2005;100:1195–1199)


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