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Emergence and progression of Vibrio cholerae O1 El Tor variants and progenitor strains of Mozambique variants in Kolkata, India.

Patra, T; Chatterjee, S; Raychoudhuri, A; Mukhopadhyay, A K; Ramamurthy, T; Nandy, R K.
Int J Med Microbiol ; 301(4): 310-7, 2011 Apr.
Artigo Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21247801
Analysis of 75 Vibrio cholerae O1 strains isolated from hospitalized patients in Kolkata from 1989 to 1994 revealed the existence of true El Tor along with El Tor variants that possessed the classical allele of ctxB (ctxB(cl)) in strains having an El Tor backbone. Based on the existence of different combinations of ctxB and rstR alleles and their localization sites in the genome, these strains were classified into multiple genetic groups. Of 75 clinical strains, 11 were identified as non-toxigenic. These 8 strains were also devoid of pTLC, which is uncommon among the O1 strains. However, Mozambique variants isolated in 2004 were typically negative for pTLC, but these strains possessed tandemly arranged CTX prophages with ctxB(cl) in the small chromosome. Genetic manipulation studies with laboratory-generated kanamycin-tagged pCTX-Kan (derived from tandemly arranged small chromosome-localized ctxB(cl) bearing CTX prophages of 1992 VC53, a progenitor strain of the Mozambique variant) demonstrated that integration specificity of the pCTX-Kan was somewhat towards small chromosome. Such integration could be the prime step towards generation of the Mozambique variant. Based on the existence of multiple alleles of CTXϕ and their infections with non-toxigenic strains, we propose that the El Tor variant strains could have emerged following these genetic events. This study demonstrated existence of different 'intermediate strains' in a time frame that overlapped with a period of V. cholerae O139 emergence. Identification of these intermediate strains gave impetus to believe stepwise generation of the El Tor variants, and all these events profoundly influenced V. cholerae epidemiology in the following years.