Pathogenicity and seasonal variation of Aeromonas hydrophila isolated from seafood and ready-to-eat sushi in South Korea

Sun Min Park, Hye Won Kim, Changsun Choi, Min Suk Rhee

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Aeromonas hydrophila is an emerging foodborne pathogen capable of causing human gastroenteritis, and the main reservoir is the aquatic environment. In this study, the prevalence and virulence of A. hydrophila in seafoods and ready-to-eat (RTE) sushi distributed in various conditions (refrigerated, dried, or frozen) or seasons was investigated. Strains were isolated from seafood (refrigerated or frozen oysters, sashimi, and processed fish; n = 333) and RTE sushi (n = 88) samples collected in South Korea and then genetically analyzed for gastroenteritis-related virulence genes (aer, ast, and alt). Raw oysters showed the highest prevalence of A. hydrophila (57.1%; 47/91) among all seafoods. Among the sashimi samples, flatfish sashimi (54.8%; 34/62) and salmon sushi (51.4%; 18/35) were the most prevalent. A. hydrophila was not detected in the oysters or anchovies distributed as either frozen or dried products. Seasonal investigations of sashimi and sushi showed that the summer prevalence of A. hydrophila with putative virulence genes was significantly lower in sashimi but highest in sushi. These results indicated that sushi could have been contaminated from several sources during the manufacturing or distribution processes. Significant correlations among the prevalence of putative virulence genes were confirmed, although no combination of genes presented a Phi correlation coefficient above 0.5 (0.26–0.43). To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the prevalence of A. hydrophila in various types of retail seafoods and RTE sushi in the East Asia region and then relate the prevalence to the distribution conditions of the samples. This study provides background information on the level of potential risk posed by A. hydrophila in retail seafoods and RTE sushi.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110484
JournalFood Research International
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sep


  • Aeromonas hydrophila
  • Oyster
  • Processed fish
  • Sashimi
  • Seafood
  • Season
  • Sushi
  • Virulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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