Journal Article Genetic diversity of environmental Vibrio cholerae O1 strains isolated in Northern Vietnam

Takemura, Taichiro  ,  Murase, Kazunori  ,  Maruyama, Fumito  ,  Tran, Thi Luong  ,  Ota, Atsushi  ,  Nakagawa, Ichiro  ,  Nguyen, Dong Tu  ,  Ngo, Tu Cuong  ,  Nguyen, Thi Hang  ,  Tokizawa, Asako  ,  Morita, Masatomo  ,  Ohnishi, Makoto  ,  Nguyen, Binh Minh  ,  Yamashiro, Tetsu

54pp.146 - 151 , 2017-10 , Elsevier B.V.
Cholera epidemics have been recorded periodically in Vietnam during the seventh cholera pandemic. Since cholera is a water-borne disease, systematic monitoring of environmental waters for Vibrio cholerae presence is important for predicting and preventing cholera epidemics. We conducted monitoring, isolation, and genetic characterization of V. cholerae strains in Nam Dinh province of Northern Vietnam from Jul 2013 to Feb 2015. In this study, four V. cholerae O1 strains were detected and isolated from 110 analyzed water samples (3.6%); however, none of them carried the cholera toxin gene, ctxA, in their genomes. Whole genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis revealed that the four O1 isolates were separated into two independent clusters, and one of them diverged from a common ancestor with pandemic strains. The analysis of pathogenicity islands (CTX prophage, VPI-I, VPI-II, VSP-I, and VSP-II) indicated that one strain (VNND_2014Jun_6SS) harbored an unknown prophage-like sequence with high homology to vibriophage KSF-1 phi and VCY phi, identified from Bangladesh and the USA, respectively, while the other three strains carried tcpA gene with a distinct sequence demonstrating a separate clonal lineage. These results suggest that the aquatic environment can harbor highly divergent V. cholera strains and serve as a reservoir for multiple V. cholerae virulence-associated genes which may be exchanged via mobile genetic elements. Therefore, continuous monitoring and genetic characterization of V. cholerae strains in the environment should contribute to the early detection of the sources of infection and prevention of cholera outbreaks as well as to understanding the natural ecology and evolution of V. cholerae.

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