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Vibriosis cases in Northern European countries and countries bordering the Baltic Sea increased during heatwaves in 2014 and 2018.


We describe the epidemiology of vibriosis and the genetic diversity of spp. isolates from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Poland and Estonia in 2018, a year with an exceptionally warm summer.


In a retrospective study, we analysed demographics, geographical distribution, seasonality, causative species and severity of non-travel-related vibriosis cases in 2018. Data sources included surveillance systems, national laboratory notification databases and/or nationwide surveys to public health microbiology laboratories. Moreover, we performed whole genome sequencing and multilocus sequence typing of available isolates from 2014 to 2018 to map their genetic diversity.


In 2018, we identified 445 non-travel-related vibriosis cases in the study countries, considerably more than the median of 126 cases between 2014 and 2017 (range: 87–272). The main reported mode of transmission was exposure to seawater. We observed a species-specific geographical disparity of vibriosis cases across the Nordic-Baltic region. Severe vibriosis was associated with infections caused by (adjOR: 17.2; 95% CI: 3.3–90.5) or (adjOR: 2.1; 95% CI: 1.0–4.5), age ≥ 65 years (65–79 years: adjOR: 3.9; 95% CI: 1.7–8.7; ≥ 80 years: adjOR: 15.5; 95% CI: 4.4–54.3) or acquiring infections during summer (adjOR: 5.1; 95% CI: 2.4–10.9). Although phylogenetic analysis revealed diversity between spp. isolates, two clusters were identified.


Shared sentinel surveillance for vibriosis during summer may be valuable to monitor this emerging public health issue.


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