Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a food-borne pathogen that naturally inhabits both marine and estuarine environments. Free-living protozoa exist in similar aquatic environments and function to control bacterial numbers by grazing on free-living bacteria. Protozoa also play an important role in the survival and spread of some pathogenic species of bacteria. We investigated the interaction between the protozoan Acanthamoeba castellanii and the bacterium Vibrio parahaemolyticus. We found that Acanthamoeba castellanii does not prey on Vibrio parahaemolyticus but instead secretes a factor that promotes the survival of Vibrio parahaemolyticus in coculture. These studies suggest that protozoa may provide a survival advantage to an extracellular pathogen in the environment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology