High growing ability of Vibrio vulnificus biotype 1 is essential for production of a toxic metalloprotease causing systemic diseases in humans

Hirofumi Watanabe, Shin Ichi Miyoshi, Tomoka Kawase, Ken Ichi Tomochika, Sumio Shinoda

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34 Citations (Scopus)


Vibrio vulnificus biotype 1, a causative agent of fatal septicemia or wound infection in humans, is known to produce a toxic metalloprotease as an important virulence determinant. V. vulnificus biotype 2 (serovar E), a primary eel pathogen, was found to elaborate an extracellular metalloprotease that was indistinguishable from that of biotype 1. The potential of V. vulnificus biotype 1 for production of the metalloprotease was compared with biotype 2 and other human non-pathogenic Vibrio species (Vibrio anguillarum and Vibrio proteolyticus). When cultivated at 25°C in tryptone-yeast extract broth supplemented with 0.9% NaCl, all bacteria multiplied sufficiently and secreted significant amounts of the metalloprotease. However, at 37°C with 0.9% NaCl, V. anguillarum neither grew nor produced the metalloprotease. In human serum, only V. vulnificus biotype 1 revealed a steady multiplication accompanied with production of the extracellular metalloprotease. This prominent ability of biotype 1 in growth and protease production may contribute to cause serious systemic diseases in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-123
Number of pages7
JournalMicrobial Pathogenesis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004



  • Metalloprotease
  • Protease
  • Vibrio vulnificus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases

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