Genetic organization of 52 Vibrio cholerae El Tor biotype preseventh and seventh pandemic strains isolated in various periods was studied by PCR assay and DNA-DNA hybridization. It was established that the genome of most ancient of analyzed strains isolated from a diarrhea patient in 1910 was devoid of CTX and RS1 prophages, vibrio pathogenicity islands (VPI and VPI-2), and pandemic islands (VSP-1 and VSP-2) that contain key virulence genes. The appearance of pathogenic properties in cholera vibrios for the first time causing a local outbreak of cholera in 1937 is connected with the acquisition of VPI and CTX that carried genes tcpA and ctxAB, respectively, which are responsible for the colonization of the small intestine and encode the production of cholera toxin. The appearance of the seventh pandemic agent for cholera was shown to correlate with the acquisition by its precursor of two additional blocks of genes VSP-1 and VSP-2. This finding strongly supports the involvement of these genes in formation of the pandemic potential in the strains. Molecular typing methods allowed elucidation of differences in the genetic organization between prepandemic and pandemic strains. The detected variability of the genome of contemporary virulent strains may be a reason for the occurrence of etiological agent of cholera with new properties.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 24, 2005
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