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Environ Microbiol Rep. 2010 Feb;2(1):140-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1758-2229.2009.00121.x. Epub 2010 Jan 5.

Temperature affects Vibrio cholerae O1 El Tor persistence in the aquatic environment via an enhanced expression of GbpA and MSHA adhesins.

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Institute of Microbiology and Biomedical Sciences, Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona, Italy. Department of Biology, University of Genova, Genova, Italy. Department of Pathology, Section of Microbiology, University of Verona, Verona, Italy.


Vibrio cholerae O1 El Tor attachment to chitin and biofilm formation on polyvinylchloride surfaces via the N-acetylglucosamine-binding protein A (GbpA) and the mannose-sensitive haemagglutinin (MSHA) were investigated under different temperature and salinity conditions simulating those found in the aquatic environment. In vitro tests showed that mshA and gbpA defective V. cholerae N16961 strains displayed a significant reduction (P < 0.05) in attachment to chitin in comparison with the parent in all the environmental conditions tested. The lack of mshA, but not gbpA, resulted in a significant decrease (P < 0.05) of V. cholerae N16961 strain ability to form biofilm. Wild-type attachment to chitin and biofilm formation increased from 15°C to 25°C as did gbpA and mshA expression. In situ data obtained analysing zooplankton and water samples collected in coastal waters of NW Mediterranean Sea over an annual cycle showed that the percentage of plankton-associated V. cholerae was positive correlated with sea surface temperature, and increased dramatically at temperature values above 22°C. It is suggested that temperature plays a major role in affecting persistence of V. cholerae in the aquatic environment by promoting colonization of environmental surfaces, via an enhanced expression of both mshA and gbpA.

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