Department of Biology & Biochemistry



3 South 0.28

Tel: +44 (0)1225 38 4292


Dr Jaime Martinez-Urtaza

My research interests are focused on studying the population structure and epidemic dynamics of human pathogenic bacteria to address basic questions in relation to a range of topics from ecology to disease. Using the genus Salmonella and Vibrio as models, we combine disciplines such as microbiology, genetics, oceanography, climate sciences and epidemiology, to glean insights into the dynamics and epidemiology of enteric pathogenic bacteria. Our current research activities are mainly focus on three areas:


Development and implementation of new molecular tools for studying the population structure and epidemic dynamics of enteric pathogens. We apply recent advances in molecular typing techniques to investigate the distribution, diversity and transmission of pathogenic bacteria associated with food- and waterborne diseases.


Impact of climate change on the epidemic dynamics and spread of the two waterborne pathogens Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio cholerae. In association with an international network of collaborators, we are investigating the dissemination of the main pathogenic clones of pathogenic Vibrio around the globe and the ecological changes behind the emergence of major epidemics and outbreaks associated with these pathogens. We are currently involved in collaborations with ECDC, NOAA, CEFAS and USC in the use of remote sensing technologies as a cost-effective approach for reducing the impact of waterborne pathogens on a global scale through use of real time global data to delineate area of suitability of Vibrio pathogens.


Understanding the role of non-host environments in the transmission of salmonellosis. We are characterizing the populations of Salmonella prevailing in the environment and unravelling the biological mechanisms behind the long-term survival of this pathogen outside the host to understand how the occurrence and persistence of Salmonella in natural settings contribute to the transmission of disease. We are also investigating the climatic factors governing the contamination dynamics of Salmonella in different regions of the world.


Baker-Austin, C., Trinanes, J. A., Salmenlinna, S., Löfdahl, M., Siitonen, A., Taylor, N. G. H. and Martinez-Urtaza, J., 2016. Heat wave-associated vibriosis, Sweden and Finland, 2014. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 22 (7), pp. 1216-1220.

Gonzalez-Escalona, N., Gavilan, R. G., Toro, M., Zamudio, M. L. and Martinez-Urtaza, J., 2016. Outbreak of Vibrio parahaemolyticus sequence type 120, Peru, 2009. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 22 (7), pp. 1235-1237.

Terzi Gulel, G. and Martinez-Urtaza, J., 2016. Molecular characterizations of Vibrio parahaemolyticus in seafood from the Black Sea, Turkey. Letters in Applied Microbiology, 62 (6), pp. 494-500.

Martinez-Urtaza, J., Powell, A., Jansa, J., Rey, J. L. C., Montero, O. P., Campello, M. G., López, M. J. Z., Pousa, A., Valles, M. J. F., Trinanes, J., Hervio-Heath, D., Keay, W., Bayley, A., Hartnell, R. and Baker-Austin, C., 2016. Epidemiological investigation of a foodborne outbreak in Spain associated with U.S. West Coast genotypes of Vibrio parahaemolyticus. SpringerPlus, 5 (1), 87.

Loyola, D. E., Navarro, C., Uribe, P., García, K., Mella, C., Díaz, D., Valdes, N., Martínez-Urtaza, J. and Espejo, R. T., 2015. Genome diversification within a clonal population of pandemic Vibrio parahaemolyticus seems to depend on the life circumstances of each individual bacteria. BMC Genomics, 16, 176.

González-Escalona, N., Gavilan, R. G., Brown, E. W. and Martinez-Urtaza, J., 2015. Transoceanic spreading of pathogenic strains of Vibrio parahaemolyticus with distinctive genetic signatures in the recA gene. PLoS ONE, 10 (2), e0117485.

Hsern Malcolm, T. T. H., Cheah, Y. K., Radzi, C. W. J. W. M., Kasim, F. A., Kantilal, H. K., John, T. Y. H., Martinez-Urtaza, J., Nakaguchi, Y., Nishibuchi, M. and Son, R., 2015. Detection and quantification of pathogenic Vibrio parahaemolyticus in shellfish by using multiplex PCR and loop-mediated isothermal amplification assay. Food Control, 47, pp. 664-671.

Coly, I., Sow, A. G., Seydi, M. and Martinez-Urtaza, J., 2015. Maitrise du risque lié à Vibrio parahaemolyticus dans les produits halieutiques destinés à l’exportation:Cas d’une usine sénégalaise de pêche. Biotechnology, Agronomy and Society and Environment, 19 (4), pp. 317-328.

Jiménez, M., Martinez-Urtaza, J., Rodriguez-Alvarez, M. X., Leon-Felix, J. and Chaidez, C., 2014. Prevalence and genetic diversity of Salmonella spp. in a river in a tropical environment in Mexico. Journal of Water and Health, 12 (4), pp. 874-884.

Mannas, H., Mimouni, R., Chaouqy, N., Hamadi, F. and Martinez-Urtaza, J., 2014. Occurrence of Vibrio and Salmonella species in mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) collected along the Moroccan Atlantic coast. SpringerPlus, 3 (265).

Kinross, P., van Alphen, L., Martinez-Urtaza, J., Struelens, M., Takkinen, J., Coulombier, D., Makela, P., Bertrand, S., Mattheus, W., Schmid, D., Kanitz, E., Rucker, V., Krisztalovics, K., Paszti, J., Szogyenyi, Z., Lancz, Z., Rabsch, W., Pfefferkorn, B., Hiller, P., Mooijman, K. and Gossner, C., 2014. Multidisciplinary investigation of a multicountry outbreak of Salmonella Stanley infections associated with turkey meat in the European Union, August 2011 to January 2013. Eurosurveillance, 19 (19), 1 - 10.

Grimes, D.J., Ford, T.E., Colwell, R.R., Baker-Austin, C., Martinez-Urtaza, J., Subramaniam, A. and Capone, D.G., 2014. Viewing marine bacteria, their activity and response to environmental drivers from orbit. Microbial Ecology, 67 (3), pp. 489-500.

Kalburge, S. S., Polson, S. W., Boyd Crotty, K., Katz, L., Turnsek, M., Tarr, C. L., Martinez-Urtaza, J. and Boyd, E. F., 2014. Complete Genome Sequence of Vibrio parahaemolyticus Environmental Strain UCM-V493. Genome announcements, 2 (2), e00159-14.

Coly, I., Gassama Sow, A., Seydi, M. and Martinez-Urtaza, J., 2013. Vibrio cholerae and vibrio parahaemolyticus detected in seafood products from Senegal. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease, 10 (12), pp. 1050-1058.

Gavilan, R.G., Zamudio, M.L. and Martinez-Urtaza, J., 2013. Molecular Epidemiology and Genetic Variation of Pathogenic Vibrio parahaemolyticus in Peru. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 7 (5), e2210.

Ibrahim, S.A., Asakir, S.F., Idris, A.A., Martinez-Urtaza, J. and Hag Elsafi, H.E., 2013. Prevalence of Salmonella species among asymptomatic food handlers in Khartoum State, Sudan. British Journal of Biomedical Science, 70 (2), pp. 88-89.

Baker-Austin, C., Trinanes, J.A., Taylor, N.G.H., Hartnell, R., Siitonen, A. and Martinez-Urtaza, J., 2013. Emerging Vibrio risk at high latitudes in response to ocean warming. Nature Climate Change, 3 (1), pp. 73-77.

Martinez-Urtaza, J., Baker-Austin, C., Jones, J.L., Newton, A.E., Gonzalez-Aviles, G.D. and DePaola, A., 2013. Spread of Pacific Northwest Vibrio parahaemolyticus strain. The New England Journal of Medicine, 369 (16), pp. 1573-1574.

Abbassi-Ghozzi, I., Jaouani, A., Hammami, S., Martinez-Urtaza, J., Boudabous, A. and Gtari, M., 2012. Molecular analysis and antimicrobial resistance of Salmonella isolates recovered from raw meat marketed in the area of "Grand Tunis", Tunisia. Pathologie Biologie, 60 (5), e49-e54.

Martinez-Urtaza, J., Blanco-Abad, V., Rodriguez-Castro, A., Ansede-Bermejo, J., Miranda, A. and Rodriguez-Alvarez, M.X., 2012. Ecological determinants of the occurrence and dynamics of Vibrio parahaemolyticus in offshore areas. ISME Journal, 6 (5), pp. 994-1006.

García, K., Gavilán, R.G., Höfle, M.G., Martínez-Urtaza, J. and Espejo, R.T., 2012. Microevolution of pandemic Vibrio parahaemolyticus assessed by the number of repeat units in short sequence tandem repeat regions. PLoS ONE, 7 (1), e30823.

Abbassi-Ghozzi, I., Jaouani, A., Aissa, R.B., Martinez-Urtaza, J., Boudabous, A. and Gtari, M., 2011. Antimicrobial resistance and molecular analysis of non-typhoidal Salmonella isolates from human in Tunisia. Pathologie Biologie, 59 (4), pp. 207-212.

Matz, C., Nouri, B., McCarter, L. and Martinez-Urtaza, J., 2011. Acquired type III secretion system determines environmental fitness of epidemic vibrio parahaemolyticus in the interaction with bacterivorous protists. PLoS ONE, 6 (5), e20275.

Jiménez, M., Martínez-Urtaza, J. and Chaidez, C., 2011. Geographical and Temporal Dissemination of Salmonellae Isolated from Domestic Animal Hosts in the Culiacan Valley, Mexico. Microbial Ecology, 61 (4), pp. 811-820.

Zamudio, M.L., Meza, A., Bailón, H., Martinez-Urtaza, J. and Campos, J., 2011. Experiencias en la vigilancia epidemiológica de agentes patógenos transmitidos por alimentos a través de electroforesis en campo pulsado (PFGE) en el Perú. Revista Peruana de Medicina de Experimental y Salud Publica, 28 (1), pp. 128-135.

Gavilán, R.G. and Martínez-Urtaza, J., 2011. Factores ambientales vinculados con la aparición y dispersió n de las epidemias de vibrio en América del Sur. Revista Peruana de Medicina de Experimental y Salud Publica, 28 (1), pp. 109-115.

Gavilán, R. G. and Martínez-Urtaza, J., 2011. Factores ambientales vinculados con la aparición y dispersión de las epidemias de Vibrio en América del Sur. Revista Peruana de Medicina de Experimental y Salud Publica, 28 (1), pp. 109-115.

Ansede-Bermejo, J., Gavilan, R.G., TriÑanes, J., Espejo, R.T. and Martinez-Urtaza, J., 2010. Origins and colonization history of pandemic Vibrio parahaemolyticus in South America. Molecular Ecology, 19 (18), pp. 3924-3937.

Martinez-Urtaza, J., Bowers, J.C., Trinanes, J. and DePaola, A., 2010. Climate anomalies and the increasing risk of Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus illnesses. Food Research International, 43 (7), pp. 1780-1790.

Purdy, A.E., Balch, D., Lizárraga-Partida, M.L., Islam, M.S., Martinez-Urtaza, J., Huq, A., Colwell, R.R. and Bartlett, D.H., 2010. Diversity and distribution of cholix toxin, a novel ADP-ribosylating factor from Vibrio cholerae. Environmental Microbiology Reports, 2 (1), pp. 198-207.

Baker-Austin, C., Stockley, L., Rangdale, R. and Martinez-Urtaza, J., 2010. Environmental occurrence and clinical impact of Vibrio vulnificus and Vibrio parahaemolyticus:A European perspective. Environmental Microbiology Reports, 2 (1), pp. 7-18.

Rodriguez-Castro, A., Ansede-Bermejo, J., Blanco-Abad, V., Varela-Pet, J., Garcia-Martin, O. and Martinez-Urtaza, J., 2010. Prevalence and genetic diversity of pathogenic populations of Vibrio parahaemolyticus in coastal waters of Galicia, Spain. Environmental Microbiology Reports, 2 (1), pp. 58-66.

Setti, I., Rodriguez-Castro, A., Pata, M.P., Cadarso-Suarez, C., Yacoubi, B., Bensmael, L., Moukrim, A. and Martinez-Urtaza, J., 2009. Characteristics and dynamics of Salmonella contamination along the coast of agadir, Morocco. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 75 (24), pp. 7700-7709.

Blanco-Abad, V., Ansede-Bermejo, J., Rodriguez-Castro, A. and Martinez-Urtaza, J., 2009. Evaluation of different procedures for the optimized detection of Vibrio parahaemolyticus in mussels and environmental samples. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 129 (3), pp. 229-236.

Harth, E., Matsuda, L., Hernández, C., Rioseco, M.L., Romero, J., González-Escalona, N., Martínez-Urtaza, J. and Espejo, R.T., 2009. Epidemiology of Vibrio parahaemolyticus outbreaks, Southern Chile. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 15 (2), pp. 163-168.

Martinez-Urtaza, J., Huapaya, B., Gavilan, R.G., Blanco-Abad, V., Ansede-Bermejo, J., Cadarso-Suarez, C., Figueiras, A. and Trinanes, J., 2008. Emergence of asiatic vibrio diseases in south america in phase with El Niño. Epidemiology, 19 (6), pp. 829-837.

Simental, L. and Martinez-Urtaza, J., 2008. Climate patterns governing the presence and permanence of salmonellae in coastal areas of Bahia de Todos Santos, Mexico. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 74 (19), pp. 5918-5924.

González-Escalona, N., Martinez-Urtaza, J., Romero, J., Espejo, R.T., Jaykus, L.-A. and DePaola, A., 2008. Determination of molecular phylogenetics of Vibrio parahaemolyticus strains by multilocus sequence typing. Journal of Bacteriology, 190 (8), pp. 2831-2840.

Martinez-Urtaza, J., Lozano-Leon, A., Varela-Pet, J., Trinanes, J., Pazos, Y. and Garcia-Martin, O., 2008. Environmental determinants of the occurrence and distribution of Vibrio parahaemolyticus in the rias of Galicia, Spain. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 74 (1), pp. 265-274.

This list was generated on Wed Aug 31 01:59:09 2016 IST.

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