Episode Summary

Vibrios are marine bacteria that live in aquatic environments with a lot of other microbes, and occasionally a particular strain will arise that can cause serious disease in humans and can spread through the population in pandemics.  V. cholerae causes large pandemics of cholera, and V. vulnificus causes sporadic cases of necrotizing fasciitis.  Genomic sequencing has allowed scientists to follow the evolution of pathogens as they pass through the human population, and highlighted specific genomic changes that are associated with disease. Dr. Salvador Almagro-Moreno is an assistant professor in the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Central Florida.  Dr. Almagro-Moreno is studying how pathogens emerge from a background of relatively harmless environmental organisms.  

Dr. Almagro-Moreno discusses how Vibrios can arise that cause disease, how the environment can influence pathogenic traits that are advantageous inside of a host, how oysters may be a training ground for Vibrio vulnificus pathogenesis in humans, how growing up on an island in Spain sparked his interest in marine pathogens, how climate change has impacted Vibrio-related disease, and how playing flamenco guitar keeps him sane. 

The microCase for listeners to solve is about France Holiday, an anti-vax social media influencer who gets more than she bargained for while promoting an antibacterial drinking straw. 


  • Karl Klose, Ph.D. (UTSA)
  • Salvador Almagro-Moreno, Ph.D. (University of Central Florida)
  • Mylea Echazarreta (UTSA)
  • Cameron Lloyd (UTSA)

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