Episode Summary

Summer brings warm beach weather, and with it come gruesome news reports of “flesh eating disease” that people catch from the ocean.

Vibrio vulnificus is a marine bacterium that prefers warmer seawater, and it can infect wounds and cause necrotizing fasciitis, also known as “flesh eating disease”, that can rapidly turn into a fatal infection.

Dr. Karla Satchell is a professor at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University who studies the toxins made by V. vulnificus and other Vibrios that allow them to cause disease. Satchell talks about how people get infected with V. vulnificus, who is most at risk for catching the flesh eating disease, how global warming is increasing V. vulnificus infections, how MARTX and other toxins help V. vulnificus cause disease, why oysters are a source of V. vulnificus, and how a scientist from Oklahoma sparked her interest in research. microTalk was joined in this discussion by Karla’s son Grant Satchell.

The microCase for listeners to solve is about Wolf Burns, a celebrity survival expert who comes down with a potentially fatal disease while trying to make his way out of the Ozark Mountain wilderness.


  • Karl Klose, Ph.D. (UTSA)
  • Janakiram Seshu, Ph.D. (UTSA)
  • Karla Satchell, Ph.D. (Northwestern University)
  • Grant Satchell
  • Mylea Echazarreta (UTSA)

Subscribe to microTalk via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Android, Email or RSS and never miss an episode!