Date of this Version
Klinzing DC, Choi SY, Hasan NA, Matias RR, Tayag E, Geronimo J, Skowronski E, Rashed SM, Kawashima K, Rosenzweig CN, Gibbons HS, Torres BC, Liles V, Alfon AC, Juan ML, Natividad FF, Cebula TA, Colwell RR. 2015. Hybrid V. cholerae El Tor lacking SXT identified as the cause of a cholera outbreak in the Philippines. mBio 6(2):e00047-15. doi:10.1128/mBio.00047-15
Cholera continues to be a global threat, with high rates of morbidity and mortality. In 2011, a cholera outbreak occurred in Palawan, Philippines, affecting more than 500 people, and 20 individuals died. Vibrio cholerae O1 was confirmed as the etiological agent. Source attribution is critical in cholera outbreaks for proper management of the disease, as well as to control spread. In this study, three V. cholerae O1 isolates from a Philippines cholera outbreak were sequenced and their genomes analyzed to determine phylogenetic relatedness to V. cholerae O1 isolates from recent outbreaks of cholera elsewhere. The Philippines V. cholerae O1 isolates were determined to be V. cholerae O1 hybrid El Tor belonging to the seventh-pandemic clade. They clustered tightly, forming a monophyletic clade closely related to V. cholerae O1 hybrid El Tor from Asia and Africa. The isolates possess a unique multilocus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) genotype (12-7-9-18-25 and 12-7-10-14- 21) and lack SXT. In addition, they possess a novel 15-kb genomic island (GI-119) containing a predicted type I restrictionmodification system. The CTX-RS1 array of the Philippines isolates was similar to that of V. cholerae O1 MG116926, a hybrid El Tor strain isolated in Bangladesh in 1991. Overall, the data indicate that the Philippines V. cholerae O1 isolates are unique, differing from recent V. cholerae O1 isolates from Asia, Africa, and Haiti. Furthermore, the results of this study support the hypothesis that the Philippines isolates of V. cholerae O1 are indigenous and exist locally in the aquatic ecosystem of the Philippines.