Vibrio cholerae O139 synonym Bengal recently caused large epidemics of cholera-like disease in Bangladesh and India. We compared the restriction fragment length polymorphisms of ctxA and rRNA genes (ribotypes) in 27 isolates of V. cholerae O139 from patients in Bangladesh and India with those of 48 isolates of V. cholerae O1 from patients and 21 V. cholerae isolates from surface waters in Bangladesh, which included 2 O139 and 19 other non-O1 isolates. Ribotyping of the isolates with Bg/I revealed that all 29 isolates of O139 vibrios belonged to a single ribotype, suggesting a clonal nature of the infection. However, the O139 vibrios comprised two ctxA genotypes and carried three or more copies of the ctxA gene, and the chromosomal locations of these copies were unlike those of the El Tor or classical vibrios. Analysis of the restriction fragment length polymorphisms of the rRNA genes suggested that V. cholerae O139 isolates are more closely related to El Tor strains of V. cholerae O1 than were 19 other non-O1 vibrios and 33 classical V. cholerae O1 isolates that were studied. However, further studies are needed to determine whether V. cholerae O139 originated from mutations and genetic changes in a V. cholerae O1 strain or was due to the acquisition of virulence genes by a previously unknown V. cholerae non-O1 strain.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)