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PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e56477. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056477. Epub 2013 Feb 19.

Clinical isolates of Vibrio cholerae O1 El Tor Ogawa of 2009 from Kolkata, India: preponderance of SXT element and presence of Haitian ctxB variant.

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Department of Human Health and Diseases, School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Advanced Research, Koba Institutional Area, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India.



Increase in the number of multidrug resistant pathogens and the accompanied rise in case fatality rates has hampered the treatment of many infectious diseases including cholera. Unraveling the mechanisms responsible for multidrug resistance in the clinical isolates of Vibrio cholerae would help in understanding evolution of these pathogenic bacteria and their epidemic potential. This study was carried out to identify genetic factors responsible for multiple drug resistance in clinical isolates of Vibrio cholerae O1, serotype Ogawa, biotype El Tor isolated from the patients admitted to the Infectious Diseases Hospital, Kolkata, India, in 2009.


One hundred and nineteen clinical isolates of V. cholerae were analysed for their antibiotic resistance phenotypes. Antibiogram analysis revealed that majority of the isolates showed resistance to co-trimoxazole, nalidixic acid, polymixin B and streptomycin. In PCR, SXT integrase was detected in 117 isolates and its sequence showed 99% identity notably to ICEVchInd5 from Sevagram, India, ICEVchBan5 from Bangladesh and VC1786ICE sequence from Haiti outbreak among others. Antibiotic resistance traits corresponding to SXT element were transferred from the parent Vibrio isolate to the recipient E. coli XL-1 Blue cells during conjugation. Double-mismatch-amplification mutation assay (DMAMA) revealed the presence of Haitian type ctxB allele of genotype 7 in 55 isolates and the classical ctxB allele of genotype 1 in 59 isolates. Analysis of topoisomerase sequences revealed the presence of mutation Ser83 → Ile in gyrA and Ser85→ Leu in parC. This clearly showed the circulation of SXT-containing V. cholerae as causative agent for cholera in Kolkata.


There was predominance of SXT element in these clinical isolates from Kolkata region which also accounted for their antibiotic resistance phenotype typical of this element. DMAMA PCR showed them to be a mixture of isolates with different ctxB alleles like classical, El Tor and Haitian variants.

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