Genetic diversity of the human pathogen Vibrio vulnificus: a new phylogroup.

Department of Biotechnology and Food Engineering, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel.
International journal of food microbiology (Impact Factor: 3.01). 02/2012; 153(3):436-43. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2011.12.011
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The biotype 3 group of the human pathogen Vibrio vulnificus emerged in Israel probably as a result of genome hybridization of two bacterial populations. We performed a genomic and phylogenetic study of V. vulnificus strains isolated from the environmental niche from which this group emerged - fish aquaculture in Israel. The genetic relationships and evolutionary aspects of 188 environmental and clinical isolates of the bacterium were studied by genomic typing. Genetic relations were determined based on variation at 12 variable number tandem repeat (VNTR, also termed SSR) loci. Analysis revealed a new cluster, in addition to the main groups of biotype 1& 2 and biotype 3. Similar grouping results were obtained with three different statistical approaches. Isolates forming this new cluster presented unclear biochemical profile nevertheless were not identified as biotype 1 or biotype 3. Further examination of representative strains by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) of 10 housekeeping genes and 5 conserved hypothetical genes supported the identification of this as yet undiscovered phylogroup (phenotypically diverse), termed clade A herein. This new clonal subgroup includes environmental as well as clinical isolates. The results highlight the fish aquaculture environment, and possibly man-made ecological niches as a whole, as a source for the emergence of new pathogenic strains.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although human exposure to Gram-negative Vibrio vulnificus (V. vulnificus) lipopolysaccharide (LPS) has been reported to result in septic shock, its impact on the central nervous system's innate immunity remains undetermined. The purpose of this study was to determine whether V. vulnificus MO6-24/O LPS might activate rat microglia in vitro and stimulate the release of superoxide anion (O2-), a reactive oxygen species known to cause oxidative stress and neuronal injury in vivo. Brain microglia were isolated from neonatal rats, and then treated with either V. vulnificus MO6-24/O LPS or Escherichia coli O26:B6 LPS for 17 hours in vitro. O2- was determined by cytochrome C reduction, and matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) and MMP-9 by gelatinase zymography. Generation of cytokines tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-1 alpha (IL-1α), IL-6, and transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1), chemokines macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP-1α)/chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 3 (CCL3), MIP-2/chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 2 (CXCL2), monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1)/CCL2, and cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant-2alpha/beta (CINC-2α/β)/CXCL3, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), were determined by specific immunoassays. Priming of rat microglia by V. vulnificus MO6-24/O LPS in vitro yielded a bell-shaped dose-response curve for PMA (phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate)-stimulated O2- generation: (1) 0.1-1 ng/mL V. vulnificus LPS enhanced O2- generation significantly but with limited inflammatory mediator generation; (2) 10-100 ng/mL V. vulnificus LPS maximized O2- generation with concomitant release of thromboxane B2 (TXB2), matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), and several cytokines and chemokines; (3) 1000-100,000 ng/mL V. vulnificus LPS, with the exception of TXB2, yielded both attenuated O2- production, and a progressive decrease in MMP-9, cytokines and chemokines investigated. Thus concentration-dependent treatment of neonatal brain microglia with V. vulnificus MO6-24/O LPS resulted in a significant rise in O2- production, followed by a progressive decrease in O2- release, with concomitant release of lactic dehydrogenase (LDH), and generation of TXB2, MMP-9, cytokines and chemokines. We hypothesize that the inflammatory mediators investigated may be cytotoxic to microglia in vitro, by an as yet undetermined autocrine mechanism. Although V. vulnificus LPS was less potent than E. coli LPS in vitro, inflammatory mediator release by the former was clearly more efficacious. Finally, we hypothesize that should V. vulnificus LPS gain entry into the CNS, it would be possible that microglia might become activated, resulting in high levels of O2- as well as neuroinflammatory TXB2, MMP-9, cytokines and chemokines.
    Marine Drugs 04/2014; 12(4):1732-56. · 3.51 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Vibrio vulnificus is an aquatic bacterium and an important human pathogen. Strains of V. vulnificus are biochemically classified into three biotypes. The newly emerged biotype 3 appears to be rather clonal and geographically restricted to Israel, where it caused an outbreak of wound infections and bacteremia. To understand the evolution of the bacterium's genome, we sequenced and analyzed the genome of biotype 3 strain VVyb1(BT3), and then conducted a microbial environmental survey of the hypothesized niche from which it probably evolved. The genome of this environmental isolate revealed higher similarity to the published biotype 1 genomes of clinical strains (90%) than to the environmental strains (87%), supporting the virulence of the biotype 3 group. Moreover, 214 of the total 5361 genes were found to be unique to strain VVyb1(BT3), having no sequence similarity to any of the known genomes of V. vulnificus; 35 of them function in DNA mobility and rearrangement, supporting the role of horizontal gene transfer in genome evolution. Interestingly, 29 of the "unique" genes had homologies among Shewanella species. In a survey conducted in aquaculture ponds in Israel, we successfully co-isolated Shewanella and V. vulnificus from the same niche, further supporting the probable contribution of Shewanella to the genome evolution of biotype 3. Indeed, one gene was found in a S. algae isolate. Surprisingly, molecular analysis revealed that some of the considered unique genes are harbored by non-sequenced biotype 1 strains isolated from the same environment. Finally, analyses of the biotype 3 genome together with the environmental survey suggested that its genome originated from a biotype 1 Israeli strain that acquired a rather small number of genes from other bacterial species in the niche, such as Shewanella. Therefore, aquaculture is likely to play a major role as a man-made ecological niche in bacterial evolution, leading the emergence of new pathogenic groups in V. vulnificus.
    Frontiers in Microbiology 01/2013; 4:393. · 3.94 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Vibrio vulnificus is an estuarine bacterium with pathogenic potential. Its three known biotypes differ in host distribution. We have found the nptA gene for a sodium-phosphate cotransporter, which is rare in bacteria, in each biotype. nptA transcript abundance differed significantly among biotypes, leading to the hypothesis that transcript levels differ under environmental conditions associated with estuarine and host environments. nptA transcript abundance was assessed in V. vulnificus biotypes 1 (C and E genotypes), 2 and 3 strains under varied salinity, phosphate concentration, and pH. Differences in transcript abundance separated strains into two groups. Type C and biotype 3 strains formed Group 1, while type E and biotype 2 strains formed Group 2. Group 2 strains had significantly greater nptA RNA transcript abundance than Group 1. Transcript abundance in the two groups also responded differently to pH and salinity, suggesting differential regulation of nptA in response to environmental conditions. Comparison of the deduced amino acid sequences of NptA among strains resulted in strain grouping similar to that based on transcript abundance. Variation in transcript abundance between groups may affect the ability of V. vulnificus strains to colonize hosts and/or to compete as free-living bacteria in various habitats.
    Microbial Ecology 10/2013; · 3.12 Impact Factor


Available from
Jun 6, 2014