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Infect Immun. 2011 Mar;79(3):1194-207. doi: 10.1128/IAI.01031-10. Epub 2011 Jan 3.

Genotype is correlated with but does not predict virulence of Vibrio vulnificus biotype 1 in subcutaneously inoculated, iron dextran-treated mice.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.

Abstract

Vibrio vulnificus is the leading cause of reported deaths from infections related to consumption of seafood in the United States. Affected predisposed individuals frequently die rapidly from sepsis. Otherwise healthy people can experience severe wound infection, which can lead to sepsis and death. A question is why, with so many people consuming contaminated raw oysters, the incidence of severe V. vulnificus disease is low. Molecular typing systems have shown associations of V. vulnificus genotypes and the environmental or clinical source of the strains, suggesting that different genotypes possess different virulence potentials. We examined 69 V. vulnificus biotype 1 strains that were genotyped by several methods and evaluated them for virulence in a subcutaneously inoculated iron dextran-treated mouse model. By examining the relationships between skin infection, systemic liver infection, and presumptive death (a decrease in body temperature), we determined that liver infection is predicated on severe skin infection and that death requires significant liver infection. Although most strains caused severe skin infection, not every strain caused systemic infection and death. Strains with polymorphisms at multiple loci (rrn, vcg, housekeeping genes, and repetitive DNA) designated profile 2 were more likely to cause lethal systemic infection with more severe indicators of virulence than were profile 1 strains with different polymorphisms at these loci. However, some profile 1 strains were lethal and some profile 2 strains did not cause systemic infection. Therefore, current genotyping schemes cannot strictly predict the virulence of V. vulnificus strains and further investigation is needed to identify virulence genes as markers of virulence.

PMID:
21199909
PMCID:
PMC3067491
DOI:
10.1128/IAI.01031-10
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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