Recent Vibrio cholerae O1 Epidemic Strains Are Unable To Replicate CTXΦ Prophage Genome

Kaoru Ochi, Tamaki Mizuno, Prosenjit Samanta, Asish K. Mukhopadhyay, Shin Ichi Miyoshi, Daisuke Imamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Cholera, an acute diarrheal disease, is caused by pathogenic strains of Vibrio cholerae generated by the lysogenization of the filamentous cholera toxin phage CTXΦ. Although CTXΦ phage in the classical biotype are usually integrated solitarily or with a truncated copy, those in El Tor biotypes are generally found in tandem and/or with related genetic elements. Due to this structural difference in the CTXΦ prophage array, the prophage in the classical biotype strains does not yield extrachromosomal CTXΦ DNA and does not produce virions, whereas the El Tor biotype strains can replicate the CTXΦ genome and secrete infectious CTXΦ phage particles. However, information on the CTXΦ prophage array structure of pathogenic V. cholerae is limited. Therefore, we investigated the complete genomic sequences of five clinical V. cholerae isolates obtained in Kolkata (India) during 2007 to 2011. The analysis revealed that recent isolates possessed an altered CTXΦ prophage array of the prototype El Tor strain. These strains were defective in replicating the CTXΦ genome. All recent isolates possessed identical rstA and intergenic sequence 1 (Ig-1) sequences and comparable rstA expression in the prototype El Tor strain, suggesting that the altered CTXΦ array was responsible for the defective replication of the prophage. Therefore, CTXΦ structures available in the database and literatures can be classified as replicative and nonreplicative. Furthermore, V. cholerae epidemic strains became capable of producing CTXΦ phage particles since the 1970s. However, V. cholerae epidemic strains again lost the capacity for CTXΦ production around the year 2010, suggesting that a significant change in the dissemination pattern of the current cholera pandemic occurred. IMPORTANCE Cholera is an acute diarrheal disease caused by pathogenic strains of V. cholerae generated by lysogenization of the filamentous cholera toxin phage CTXΦ. The analysis revealed that recent isolates possessed altered CTXΦ prophage array of prototype El Tor strain and were defective in replicating the CTXΦ genome. Classification of CTXΦ structures in isolated years suggested that V. cholerae epidemic strains became capable of producing CTXΦ phage particles since the 1970s. However, V. cholerae epidemic strains again lost the capacity for CTXΦ production around the year 2010, suggesting that a critical change had occurred in the dissemination pattern of the current cholera pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e0033721
JournalmSphere
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 30 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • cholera
  • prophage
  • Vibrio cholerae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology

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