A collection of environmental and clinical strains of Vibrio cholerae O1 isolated from the beginning of the Latin American epidemic of cholera in 1991 to 2003 from multiple locations in Peru were characterized and compared with V. cholerae O1 El Tor strains of the seventh pandemic from the rest of the world (Asia, Africa, Australia and Europe) using a multilocus virulence gene profiling strategy and DNA sequencing. Peruvian strains differed from El Tor strains from the rest of the world by the failure of PCR to amplify genes VC0512, VC0513, VC0514 and VC0515 in the Vibrio seventh pandemic island-II (VSP-II) gene cluster. Sequencing of the VSP-II gene cluster and its flanking regions in one Peruvian strain (PERU-130) confirmed the PCR results, indicating that the Peruvian strain had low DNA homology (46.6%) compared to the reference strain N16961 within the VSP-II region encompassing genes VC0511 to VC0515. Based on these differences in VSP-II, and based on the overall similarity between the pulsotypes of the Peruvian strains and the El Tor reference strain N16961, we concluded that the Peruvian, Eurasian and African strains belonged to the same clonal complex, and that the Peruvian strains represented variants that had independently evolved for a relatively short time. Since these ORFs in VSP-II of Peruvian strains are unique and conserved, they could form the basis for tracking the origin of the Peruvian strains and therefore of the Latin American pandemic.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)