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Genome sequence of Vibrio parahaemolyticus: a pathogenic mechanism distinct from that of V. cholerae.

Makino K., Oshima K., Kurokawa K., Yokoyama K., Uda T., Tagomori K., Iijima Y., Najima M., Nakano M., Yamashita A., Kubota Y., Kimura S., Yasunaga T., Honda T., Shinagawa H., Hattori M., Iida T.

BACKGROUND: Vibrio parahaemolyticus, a gram-negative marine bacterium, is a worldwide cause of food-borne gastroenteritis. V parahaemolyticus strains of a few specific serotypes, probably derived from a common clonal ancestor, have lately caused a pandemic of gastroenteritis. The organism is phylogenetically close to V cholerae, the causative agent of cholera. METHODS: The whole genome sequence of a clinical V parahaemolyticus strain RIMD2210633 was established by shotgun sequencing. The coding sequences were identified by use of Gambler and Glimmer programs. Comparative analysis with the V cholerae genome was undertaken with MUMmer. FINDINGS: The genome consisted of two circular chromosomes of 3288558 bp and 1877212 bp; it contained 4832 genes. Comparison of the V parahaemolyticus genome with that of V cholerae showed many rearrangements within and between the two chromosomes. Genes for the type III secretion system (TTSS) were identified in the genome of V parahaemolyticus; V cholerae does not have these genes. INTERPRETATION: The TTSS is a central virulence factor of diarrhoea-causing bacteria such as shigella, salmonella, and enteropathogenic Escherichia coli, which cause gastroenteritis by invading or intimately interacting with intestinal epithelial cells. Our results suggest that V parahaemolyticus and V cholerae use distinct mechanisms to establish infection. This finding explains clinical features of V parahaemolyticus infections, which commonly include inflammatory diarrhoea and in some cases systemic manifestations such as septicaemia, distinct from those of V cholerae infections, which are generally associated with non-inflammatory diarrhoea.

Lancet 361:743-749(2003) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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