An Evaluation of the Use of Remotely Sensed Parameters For Prediction of Incidence and Risk Associated With Vibrio parahaemolyticus in Gulf Coast Oysters (Crassostrea virginica)

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Coastal Sciences, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently published a Vibrio parahaemol.y'ticus risk assessment for consumption of raw oysters that predicts V. parahaemolyticus densities at harvest based on water temperature. We retrospectively compared archived remotely sensed measurements (sea surface temperature, chlorophyll, and turbidity) with previously published data from an environmental study of V. parahaemolyticus in Alabama oysters to assess the utility of the former data for predicting V. parahaemolyticus densities in oysters. Remotely sensed sea surface temperature correlated well with previous in situ measurements (R-2 = 0.86) of bottom water temperature, supporting the notion that remotely sensed sea surface temperature data are a sufficiently accurate substitute for direct measurement. Turbidity and chlorophyll levels were not determined in the previous study, but in comparison with the V. parahaemolyticus data, remotely sensed values for these parameters may explain some of the variation in V. parahaemolyticus levels. More accurate determination of these effects and the temporal and spatial variability of these parameters may further improve the accuracy of prediction models. To illustrate the utility of remotely sensed data as a basis for risk management, predictions based on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration V. parahaemolyticus risk assessment model were integrated with remotely sensed sea surface temperature data to display graphically variations in V. parahaemolyticus density in oysters associated with spatial variations in water temperature. We believe images such as these could be posted in near real time, and that the availability of such information in a user-friendly format could be the basis for timely and informed risk management decisions.

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Journal of Food Protection





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