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This work was funded by FEDER through project BeachSafe (POCI-01-0145-FEDER-031291) –
Programa Operacional Competitividade e Internacionalização, and by National Funds from
FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia.
1. Drake et al. (2007) Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety 6(4):120–144.
2. Cantet F. et al. (2013) Research in Microbiology 164(8):867-874.doi:10.1016/j.resmic.2013.06.005
Location of the sampling sites along the NW Portuguese coast.
(Made with Natural Earth. Free vector and raster map data @ naturalearthdata.com)
BEACHSAFE: Vibrio dynamics in bathing water and associated
human health risk
Ana Machado, Eva Amorim, Tomás Araújo, Adriano A. Bordalo
Laboratory of Hydrobiology and Ecology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of Porto (ICBAS –UP), Porto, Portugal
Interdisciplinary Centre for Marine and Environmental Research (CIIMAR), Porto, Portugal
FEMS 2019, 7-11 July 2019, Glasgow, Scotland
Naturally occurring in aquatic ecosystems around the world Vibrio species, can negatively impact human health and ecosystem services.
The results highlighted the public health risk associated with the presence of potential pathogenic bacteria in bathing waters that can be
considered safe according to the European Union legal criteria. Monitoring and understanding the dynamics of these agents in a climate
change scenario is essential to develop alert tools and consequently ensure users safety.
Vibrio sp. were successfully
detected in all samples, with
abundances ranging 0.17-5.6 Log
Vibrio sp. abundance estimated by most probable number-
polymerase chain reaction (MPN-PCR)2
All the potential pathogenic Vibrio
species were detected in bathing waters.
V. cholerae was detected in all months,
although cholera toxin gene (ctxA) was
found only once.
V. parahaemolyticus was present
throughout the year with higher
expression of toxigenic genes (tdh and
trh) during the bathing season.
V. vulnificus detection was scarce and
at lower levels.
Vibriosis outbreaks associated with recreational bathing are on the rise in the Northern Hemisphere. Vibrio cholerae,Vibrio
parahaemolyticus, and Vibrio vulnificus are human pathogens known to cause diarrheal illnesses and wound infections1. Ongoing
climate changes are expected to further drive their emergence in coastal waters, and the spread of waterborne infectious diseases
globally. The aim of the study was to investigate the prevalence of vibrios in bathing waters, understand its dynamics in relation with
environmental constraints, and therefore predict potential risk to human health.
Monthly collection of surface water samples and key environmental
parameters in ten Atlantic beaches (NW Portugal) over a year.