General Information: This is a clinical strain isolated in 1996 in Osaka, Japan. It contains a type III secretion system which may enable colonization and penetration of the host intestinal epithelial layer, and possibly lead to septicemia. The genome contains multipe chromosomal rearrangements as compared to Vibrio cholerae. The organism also produces a hemolysin (thermostable direct hemolysin - TDH) that is particular to Vibrio parahaemolyticus. This genus is abundant in marine or freshwater environments such as estuaries, brackish ponds, or coastal areas; regions that provide an important reservoir for the organism in between outbreaks of the disease. Vibrio can affect shellfish, finfish, and other marine animals and a number of species are pathogenic for humans. This species causes food poisoning (gastroenteritis) in countries that have elevated levels of seafood consumption such as Japan.