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Infections Caused by Vibrionaceae: A Review of the Epidemiology, Pathogenesis, Clinical Presentations, and Treatment

Horseman, Michael Allen PharmD*†‡; Bray, Rachel PharmD; Lujan-Francis, Bernadette PharmD§; Matthew, Earl MD

Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice: July 2013 - Volume 21 - Issue 4 - p 222–232
doi: 10.1097/IPC.0b013e3182826328
Review Articles

Vibrionaceae is a bacterial family of motile facultative gram-negative bacilli. Several species can be pathogenic to humans and cause severe disease, especially in patients with risk factors. Vibrio-mediated diseases have been reported worldwide and are usually associated with exposure to brackish or saltwater and seafood. The most common infections depending on the species are gastroenteritis, wound and soft-tissue infections including necrotizing fasciitis, and primary sepsis. The most common risk factors for severe infection include chronic liver disease, diabetes mellitus, malignancy, immunocompromise including HIV infection, iron storage disorders, heart disease including heart failure, and chronic renal failure. Depending on the species, occasional cases of severe infection may occur in immunocompetent patients without evidence of other risk factors. Several antibiotics are usually active against most pathogenic species in both families. Increasing resistance in various locations worldwide has been reported to tetracyclines, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and ciprofloxacin especially for toxigenic Vibrio cholerae.

From the *Department of Pharmacy Practice, College of Pharmacy, Texas A&M Health Sciences Center, Kingsville, TX; †Department of Family Medicine & Community Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio, TX; ‡Christus Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi–Memorial, Corpus Christi, TX; §HEB Pharmacy, Corpus Christi, TX and ‖Christus Spohn Health System, Corpus Christi, TX.

Correspondence to: Michael Allen Horseman, PharmD, Department of Pharmacy Practice, College of Pharmacy, Texas A&M Health Sciences Center; MSC 131,1010 Ave. B, Kingsville, Texas USA 78363. E-mail:

The authors received no funding in preparation of this manuscript and have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.