Diversity, relatedness, and ecological interactions of toxigenic Vibrio cholerae 01 populations in two distinctive habitats, the human intestine and the aquatic environment, were analyzed. Twenty environmental isolates and 42 clinical isolates were selected for study by matching serotype, geographic location of isolation in Bangladesh, and season of isolation. Genetic profiling was done by enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus sequence-PCR, optimized for profiling by using the fully sequenced V. cholerae El Tor N16961 genome. Five significant clonal clusters of haplotypes were found from 57 electrophoretic types. Isolates from different areas or habitats intermingled in two of the five significant clusters. Frequencies of haplotypes differed significantly only between the environmental populations (exact test; P < 0.05). Analysis of molecular variance yielded a population genetic structure reflecting the differentiating effects of geographic area, habitat, and sampling time. Although a parameter confounding the latter differences explained 9% of the total molecular variance in the entire population (P < 0.01), the net effect of habitat and time could not be separated because of the small number of environmental isolates included in the study. Five subpopulations from a single area were determined, and from these we were able to estimate a relative differentiating effect of habitat, which was small compared with the effect of temporal change. In conclusion, the resulting population structure supports the hypothesis that spatial and temporal fluctuations in the composition of toxigenic V. cholerae populations in the aquatic environment can cause shifts in the dynamics of the disease.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Sep 17 2002|
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