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Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2020 Mar;55(3):105853. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2019.11.010. Epub 2019 Nov 23.

Emergence of Haitian variant genotype and altered drug susceptibility in Vibrio cholerae O1 El Tor-associated cholera outbreaks in Solapur, India.

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Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 110067, India; National Centre for Disease Control, Delhi 110054, India. Electronic address:
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 110067, India.
V.M. Govt. Medical College, Solapur, Maharashtra, India.
SVN Govt. Medical College, Yavatmal, India.
Defence Research and Development Establishment, Gwalior, India.
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 110067, India; Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Berhampur, India. Electronic address:


It is evident from previous cholera epidemics/outbreaks in India, Africa and America that isolates of the seventh pandemic Vibrio cholerae El Tor (7PET) with Haitian cholera toxin (HCT) genotype were associated with increased mortality. The present study highlights the emergence of 7PET-HCT isolates causing two cholera outbreaks in Walsang and Wagdari (Solapur, India) in 2016. Molecular analyses revealed that 7PET strains from earlier outbreaks (2010 and 2012) were progenitors of the current 7PET-HCT isolates. Isolates from the 2016 outbreaks carried qnrVC and floR genes and showed reduced susceptibility to tetracycline, ciprofloxacin and azithromycin, drugs recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the treatment of cholera. Remarkably, protein profiling and mass spectrometry revealed disappearance of the outer membrane protein U (OmpU) porin in 7PET-HCT isolates from the second outbreak in 2016. Downregulation of ompU gene expression was also confirmed at the transcriptional level. Strains with downregulated OmpU showed reduced minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) for polymyxin B, which is a pore-forming antimicrobial agent. A multipronged approach is of utmost importance to prevent further spread of circulating 7PET-HCT strains. There is a pressing need for the formulation and implementation of international policies to closely monitor the effective use of antibiotics in order to prevent the further rise and spread of antimicrobial resistance.


Antibiotic resistance; Cholera; Haitian cholera toxin; OmpU; qnrVC

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