Hindcast Study: Predicting the distribution of <italic>Vibrio vulnificus</italic> in Chesapeake Bay
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Vibrio vulnificus, is an ubiquitous bacterium which primarily causes seafood related gastroenteritis, primary septicemia, and wound infections worldwide. It occurs as part of the normal micro-flora in the coastal marine environment and has been frequently isolated from water, sediment and oysters. A hindcast prediction study was undertaken to determine the likelihood of occurrence of V. vulnificus in the surface waters of Chesapeake Bay. Hindcast predictions were achieved by forcing a multivariate habitat suitability model with simulated sea surface temperature and salinity in the Bay. Predictions of V. vulnificus occurrence were generated for the period between 1991 and 2005. Potential hotspots of occurrence of V. vulnificus in Chesapeake Bay were identified. The likelihood of V. vulnificus occurrence during wet and dry years was analyzed. Hindcast prediction can provide a better understanding of the environmental conditions optimal for occurrence of V. vulnificus in Chesapeake Bay.