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Microbes Infect. 2007 Sep;9(11):1351-8. Epub 2007 Jul 5.

Pathogenicity of environmental isolates of V. cholerae in mice.

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Division of Infectious Diseases, VA Medical Center, San Diego, CA, USA.


Environmental V. cholerae (Vc) have the potential for virulence in people and they may also be a reservoir of accessory virulence genes. We infected mice with two non-O1, non-O139 Vc (TP and SIO) that were isolated in San Diego County and compared them to Vc O1 El Tor N16961 using a model of pneumonia in adult mice. Live but not heat killed Vc El Tor and TP caused fatal hemorrhagic pneumonia despite a >90% decrease in CFU in 24h suggesting the disease was toxin mediated. SIO did not cause pneumonia in normal mice but neutropenic, gp91phox and complement (C3) mice were more susceptible to all three strains. TP and SIO lack ctx but have rtxA, hlyA, and hapA, genes that encode virulence factors in Vc El Tor. The explanation for the enhanced virulence of TP remains to be determined.

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