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J Appl Microbiol. 2019 Jan 10. doi: 10.1111/jam.14199. [Epub ahead of print]

Survey and genetic characterization of Vibrio cholerae in Apalachicola Bay, Florida (2012-2014).

Author information

1
Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611, United States.
2
Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve, East Point, FL, 32328.
3
Department of Environmental and Global Health, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611, United States.
4
Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611.

Abstract

AIMS:

A small outbreak of gastroenteritis in 2011 in Apalachicola Bay, FL was attributed to consumption of raw oysters carrying Vibrio cholerae serotype O75. To better understand possible health risks, V. cholerae was surveyed in oysters, fish, and seawater, and results were compared to data for V. vulnificus and V. parahaemolyticus.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Enrichment protocols were used to compare prevalence of V. cholerae (0, 48, 50%), V. vulnificus (89, 97, 100%) and V. parahaemolyticus (83, 83, 100%) in fish, seawater, and oysters, respectively. Compared to other species, Most Probable Number results indicated significantly (p<0.001) lower abundance of V. cholerae, which was also detected more frequently at lower salinity, near-shore sites; other species were more widely distributed throughout the bay. Genes for expression (ctxA, ctxB) and acquisition (tcpA) of cholera toxin were absent in all strains by PCR, which was confirmed by whole genome sequencing; however, other putative virulence genes (toxR, rtxA, hlyA, opmU) were common. Multi-locus sequence typing revealed 78% of isolates were genetically closer to V. cholerae O75 lineage or other non-O1 serogroups than to O1 or O139 serogroups. Resistance to amoxicillin, kanamycin, streptomycin, amikacin, tetracycline, and cephalothin, as well as multidrug resistance, was noted.

CONCLUSIONS:

Results indicated minimal human health risk posed by V. cholerae, as all isolates recovered from Apalachicola Bay did not have the genetic capacity to produce cholera toxin. V. cholerae was less prevalent and abundant relative to other pathogenic Vibrio species.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

These studies provide important baseline observations for V. cholerae virulence potential regarding: (1) genetic relatedness to V. cholerae O75, (2) antibiotic resistance, and (3) prevalence of multiple virulence genes. These data will serve as a biomonitoring tool to better understand ecosystem status and management if bacterial densities and virulence potential are altered by environmental and climatic changes over time. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:

Pathogenesis; antibiotic; ecology; genetic; shellfish

PMID:
30629784
DOI:
10.1111/jam.14199

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