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New Microbes New Infect. 2019 Jun 17;31:100577. doi: 10.1016/j.nmni.2019.100577. eCollection 2019 Sep.

In silico characteristics for re-emerging possibility of Vibrio cholerae genotypes in Iran.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Research Center of Health Reference Laboratory, Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.


Epidemic cholera has been registered several times within recent years in Iran. The dominant genotype was Ogawa until 2011, but this gradually changed to Inaba. However, in 2015, the re-appearance of a previous Ogawa genotype was detected by the Iranian CDC. This raised worries because no evidence was found for its origin abroad. The aim of the present study was to identify clearly the source of this outbreak. Pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) was used to compare the recently detected Vibrio cholerae strains with those isolated from 2011 to 2015. We selected one strain per PFGE pattern, and compared the distinct patterns. BioNumerics software was applied, which enables interpretation of phenotypic and genotypic differences. In total, we studied 33 V. cholerae Ogawa strains. Analysis showed that strains could be discriminated on the basis of annual clusters but with a similarity of more than 80%. The highest homology was observed among those isolated each year from 2011 to 2014. In contrast, strains isolated in 2015 also exhibited close correlation with each other but were located in distinct clusters. The analysis also proved genetic variations among some strains. All 2015 strains showed differences with regard to previous genotypes despite some similarities. The new genotypes were probably imported into Iran from neighbouring countries such as Iraq by travellers or contaminated food sources since 2015. However, more investigations are required to identify the exact source of the 2015 outbreak.


Epidemiology; Vibrio cholerae; new emergencies; pulse field gel electrophoresis; surveillance program

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