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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1994 Aug 1;121(1):47-54.

Biotype-specific tcpA genes in Vibrio cholerae.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Adelaide, Australia.

Erratum in

  • FEMS Microbiol Lett 1994 Dec 1;124(2):253.


The tcpA gene, encoding the structural subunit of the toxin-coregulated pilus, has been isolated from a variety of clinical isolates of Vibrio cholerae, and the nucleotide sequence determined. Strict biotype-specific conservation within both the coding and putative regulatory regions was observed, with important differences between the El Tor and classical biotypes. V. cholerae O139 Bengal strains appear to have El Tor-type tcpA genes. Environmental O1 and non-O1 isolates have sequences that bind an El Tor-specific tcpA DNA probe and that are weakly and variably amplified by tcpA-specific polymerase chain reaction primers, under conditions of reduced stringency. The data presented allow the selection of primer pairs to help distinguish between clinical and environmental isolates, and to distinguish El Tor (and Bengal) biotypes from classical biotypes of V. cholerae. While the role of TcpA in cholera vaccine preparations remains unclear, the data strongly suggest that TcpA-containing vaccines directed at O1 strains need include only the two forms of TcpA, and that such vaccines directed at (O139) Bengal strains should include the TcpA of El Tor biotype.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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