Date of Award

Winter 2011

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Stephen Jones


Shellfish-borne vibrio diseases have increased recently in the US, particularly in cooler, northern areas. Harvest area monitoring and post-harvest processing (PHP) have been implemented to reduce Vibrio disease risks in marketed shellfish, and rapid and reliable detection methods are needed to assess these risks. Both culture based and qPCR detection methods were useful for detecting V. parahaemolyticus (Vp) in oysters. QPCR is more rapid and less subjective, while the culture based method allowed detection of lower Vp concentrations in cold-water oysters where the Vp population diversity was more clonal. Depuration and relaying were assessed as PHP strategies for reducing Vp and Vibrio vulnificus (Vv) levels in live oysters. Relaying was significantly more effective, especially where higher salinity and indigenous microbial communities were factors. Both detection methods proved to be useful tools for detecting Vp and Vv, and relaying is a promising strategy for reducing Vibrio levels in harvested oysters.