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J Clin Microbiol. Nov 2010; 48(11): 3963–3969.
Published online Sep 8, 2010. doi:  10.1128/JCM.01086-10
PMCID: PMC3020861

Molecular Evidence of Cholera Outbreak Caused by a Toxigenic Vibrio cholerae O1 El Tor Variant Strain in Kelantan, Malaysia


A total of 20 Vibrio cholerae isolates were recovered for investigation from a cholera outbreak in Kelantan, Malaysia, that occurred between November and December 2009. All isolates were biochemically characterized as V. cholerae serogroup O1 Ogawa of the El Tor biotype. They were found to be resistant to multiple antibiotics, including tetracycline, erythromycin, sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim, streptomycin, penicillin G, and polymyxin B, with 35% of the isolates being resistant to ampicillin. All isolates were sensitive to ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, chloramphenicol, gentamicin, and kanamycin. Multiplex PCR analysis confirmed the biochemical identification and revealed the presence of virulence genes, viz., ace, zot, and ctxA, in all of the isolates. Interestingly, the sequencing of the ctxB gene showed that the outbreak strain harbored the classical cholera toxin gene and therefore belongs to the newly assigned El Tor variant biotype. Clonal analysis by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis demonstrated that a single clone of a V. cholerae strain was responsible for this outbreak. Thus, we present the first molecular evidence that the toxigenic V. cholerae O1 El Tor variant has invaded Malaysia, highlighting the need for continuous monitoring to facilitate early interventions against any potential epidemic by this biotype.

Articles from Journal of Clinical Microbiology are provided here courtesy of American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
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