Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Although Vibrio cholerae is an important human pathogen, little is known about its populations in regions where the organism is endemic but where cholera disease is rare. A total of 31 independent isolates confirmed as V. cholerae were collected from water, sediment, and oysters in 2008 and 2009 from the Great Bay Estuary (GBE) in New Hampshire, a location where the organism has never been detected. Environmental analyses suggested that abundance correlates most strongly with rainfall events, as determined from data averaged over several days prior to collection. Phenotyping, genotyping, and multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) revealed a highly diverse endemic population, with clones recurring in both years. Certain isolates were closely related to toxigenic O1 strains, yet no virulence genes were detected. Multiple statistical tests revealed evidence of recombination among strains that contributed to allelic diversity equally as mutation. This relatively isolated population discovered on the northern limit of detection for V. cholerae can serve as a model of natural population dynamics that augments predictive models for disease emergence.
Schuster, Brian M.; Tyzik, Anna L.; Donner, Rachel A.; Striplin, Megan J.; and Almagro-Moreno, Salvador, "Ecology and Genetic Structure of a Northern Temperate Vibrio cholerae Population Related to Toxigenic Isolates" (2011). Open Dartmouth: Faculty Open Access Articles. 480.