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Arnold School of Public Health


Environmental Microbiology Project

The overall goal of the Oceans and Human Health Center on Climate Change Interactions (OHHC2I), Environmental Microbiology Project is to better understand how climate change may influence Vibrio virulence. Our overall objective in this proposal, which is a critical first step in pursuit of the long-term goal, is to assess how the genetic mechanisms of V. vulnificus and V. parahaemolyticus virulence and antibiotic resistance are affected by changing climate and environmental conditions. Our central hypothesis (H1) is that Vibrio virulence and antibiotic resistance will increase under future climate change conditions. While the specific hypothesis has not yet been tested, the concept is supported by numerous studies. The rationale for the proposed research is that by coupling mechanistic data to Vibrio abundance and distribution, better forecast models may be enhanced and more accurately predict public health risk of vibro to reduce illness from seafood consumption and contact recreation.