Annals of Clinical Microbiology, The official Journal of the Korean Society of Clinical Microbiology


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pISSN 2288-0585 eISSN 2288-6850

Genetic Characteristics and Relatedness of Imported Vibrio cholerae O1 Biotype El Tor in Korea

Original article

Annals of Clinical Microbiology (Ann Clin Microbiol) 2013 March, Volume 16, Issue 1, pages 25-32.

Genetic Characteristics and Relatedness of Imported Vibrio cholerae O1 Biotype El Tor in Korea

HyeonHee Kim1, Semi Jeon2, JunYoung Kim1, SeongHan Kim2, Deog-Yong Lee1
1Division of Enteric Diseases, 2Division of TB and Respiratory Diseases, Center for Infection Diseases, Korea National Institute of Health, KCDC, Cheongwon, Korea


Background: Cholera is a representative water-borne disease that is caused by V. cholera ctx (+). V. cholera El Tor was previously the primary pathogen, but after the seventh pandemic outbreak, it was replaced by a V. cholera El Tor variant with a classical phenotype and genotype. In this study, we investigated the genotypic and phenotypic characteristics of imported V. cholerae El Tor in Korea.

Methods: Forty-nine V. cholerae O1 El Tor strains isolated from 2004 to 2011 were used in this study. Polymerase chain reaction amplification of the ctxB and rstR genes was used for biotype determination. An antimicrobial susceptibility test was performed for phenotypic analysis, and pulse field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) was used for analysis of genetic relatedness.

Results: Classical ctxB genes were found in all of the isolates, while classical, El Tor, and combined rstR genes were found. Twenty strains showed antimicrobial resistance against streptomycin, sulfamethoxazole/ trimethoprim, nalidixic acid, and ciprofloxacin. Based on PFGE, all isolates were grouped as cluster B. The country of origin and resistance pattern were highly related, although the time of influx and serogroup were not.

Conclusion: Isolates of V. cholera El Tor imported since 2004 were hybrids of V. cholera El Tor, which has the classical ctxB gene and is considered to be a CTX prophage. The SXT element plays an important role in antimicrobial resistance. PFGE patterns, which can be used for analysis of imported V. cholera, revealed the relatedness of the resistant isolates. (Ann Clin Microbiol 2013;16:25-32)


Antimicrobial resistance, PFGE, V. cholerae El Tor