Phage biocontrol of zoonotic food-borne pathogen Vibrio parahaemolyticus for seafood safety

Jung Hyen Lee, Minjin Oh, Byoung Sik Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a major seafood-borne zoonotic pathogen causing gastroenteritis in humans. Although antibiotics are the most effective chemical agents for V. parahaemolyticus, their abuse has caused the emergence of multidrug-resistant strains, affecting seafood safety. Here, we have isolated and characterized the V. parahaemolyticus bacteriophage VPG01 as an eco-friendly sustainable alternative to antibiotics. When this Siphoviridae virus was mixed with V. parahaemolyticus, quick adsorption and efficient amplification were observed. VPG01 endured a wide range of temperatures and pH conditions while retarding host cell growth. Genomic analysis revealed that VPG01 is a T5-like lytic virus resembling the previously characterized Vibrio phage VPT02, but with noticeable differences in genetic composition. Intriguingly, a combined treatment of these two phages showed an antagonistic result, emphasizing the caution for phage cocktail application. Nonetheless, VPG01 remarkably rescued aquatic crustaceans (Artemia franciscana) from V. parahaemolyticus infection in an aquatic setting by reducing the pathogen in artificial seawater. In addition, when a cutting board and a seafood item were treated with VPG01 the pathogen load was significantly decreased. The combined results indicate that VPG01 can be used for the biocontrol of the zoonotic pathogen V. parahaemolyticus in diverse seafood-related scenarios, such as storage, processing, and catering.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109334
JournalFood Control
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety of Korea in 2022 ( 20162MFDS142 ) to B.S.K.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • Antibiotic alternatives
  • Bacteriophage
  • Biocontrol
  • Seafood
  • Vibrio parahaemolyticus
  • Zoonotic pathogen


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