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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Mar 1;102(9):3465-70. Epub 2005 Feb 22.

Genomic characterization of non-O1, non-O139 Vibrio cholerae reveals genes for a type III secretion system.

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Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Harvard Medical School, 200 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Non-O1, non-O139 Vibrio cholerae can cause gastroenteritis and extraintestinal infections, but, unlike O1 and O139 strains of V. cholerae, little is known about the virulence gene content of non-O1, non-O139 strains and their phylogenetic relationship to other pathogenic V. cholerae. Comparative genomic microarray analysis of four pathogenic non-O1, non-O139 strains indicates that these strains are quite divergent from O1 and O139 strains. Genomic sequence analysis of a non-O1, non-O139 strain (AM-19226) that appeared particularly pathogenic in experimental animals suggests that this strain carries a type III secretion system (TTSS) that is related to the TTSS2 gene cluster found in a pandemic clone of Vibrio parahaemolyticus. The genes for this V. cholerae TTSS system appear to be present in many clinical and environmental non-O1, non-O139 strains, including at least one clone that is globally distributed. We hypothesize that the TTSS present in some pathogenic strains of non-O1, non-O139 V. cholerae may be involved in the virulence and environmental fitness of these strains.

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