US Fish & Wildlife Service


Date of this Version



Published by United States Department of Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Division of Fishery Research Washington, D.C. 20240


Fish vibriosis is a systemic disease of marine, estuarine, and some freshwater fishes, caused by bacteria of the genus Vibrio (Ross et al. 1968, Ghittino et al. 1972). The disease has been known for centuries; outbreaks along the Italian coast were recorded as early as the 1500's. Terms such as "red pest," "red boil," "red plague," or "saltwater furunculosis" have been applied to vibrio infections, but vibriosis is a more specific term and is now used by most fishery workers. With the rapid development of mariculture, vibriosis has become a major cause of fish loss--sometimes to the extent of being a limiting factor.