Skip to main content

An epidemiological study of Vibrio cholerae O1 in the Australian environment based on rRNA gene polymorphisms

  • P. M. Desmarchelier (a1), F. Y. K. Wong (a1) and K. Mallard (a1)

Since 1977, Vibrio cholerae O1 has been isolated from the Australian aquatic environment and periodically cholera cases have occurred following exposure to these environments. To study the relationships between clinical isolates and environmental isolates from rivers and aquatic life, widely distributed throughout the country, a wide range of molecular typing methods were employed. In this paper we report the analysis of the 180 Australian isolates (10 clinical and 170 environmental) using ribotyping. Seven ribotype patterns were observed among the Australian inaba isolates, 2 of which included all clinical inaba isolates and 84% environmental inaba isolates collected from 9 rivers and creeks in eastern Australia during an 8-year period. Isolates from epidemiologically related clinical cases, asymptomatic household contacts and sewage were indistinguishable. The ogawa isolates were more diverse, with 9 ribotypes observed among 24 isolates from 8 rivers during the same period. Ribotype patterns were not shared between the serotypes with the exception of one ogawa isolate which could be distinguished using PFGE. Ribotyping has been useful in confirming an association between epidemiologically related clinical isolates and the aquatic environment and the persistence of several clones of the O1 serovar in the Australian environment during an 8-year period.

Corresponding author
* Corresponding author and current address: Dr P. M. Desmarchelier, CSIRO Division of Food Science and Technology, Cnr Creek and Wynnum Roads, Cannon Hill, Queensland 4170, Australia.
Hide All
1.Newton-John HF, Gilbert G, Sandland AM et al. , Cholera: an imported case in Australia, 1969. Med J Aust 1971; 1: 135–8.
2.Cumpston JHL, McCallum F, eds. The history of the intestinal infections (and typhoid fever) in Australia 1788–1923, Commonwealth of Australia. Department of Health Service Publication No. 36. 1927; 6: 293–4.
3.Desmarchelier PM. Human isolations of Vibrio species at Cholera Reference Centre. C.I.H. Com Dis Intell 1984; 15: 24.
4.Rao A, Stockwell BA. The Queensland cholera incident of 1977. 1. The index case. Bull WHO 1980; 58: 663–4.
5.Burke ATC, Cossins YN, Gray BRW et al. , Investigation of cholera from the riverine environment in Queensland. Med J Aust 1986; 144: 229–34.
6.Desmarchelier PM, Reichelt JL. Phenotypic characterisation of clinical and environmental isolates of Vibrio cholerae from Australia. Curr Microbiol 1981; 5: 123–7.
7.Desmarchelier PM, Reichelt JL. Genetic relationships among clinical and environmental isolates of Vibrio cholerae from Australia. Curr Microbiol 1982; 7: 53–7.
8.Desmarchelier PM, Reichelt JL. A phenotypic and genetic study of sucrose non-fermenting strains of Vibrio mimicus and V. cholerae. Curr Microbiol 1984; 10: 41–8.
9.Desmarchelier PM, Senn CR. A molecular epidemiological study of Vibrio cholerae in Australia. Med J Aust 1989; 150: 631–4.
10.Desmarchelier PM, Salles CA, Momen H. A zymovar analysis of Vibrio cholerae isolated in Australia. Trans Roy Soc Trop Med Hyg 1988; 82: 914–7.
11.Pitcher DG, Saunders NA, Owen RJ. Rapid extraction of bacterial genomic DNA with guanidium thiocyanate. Lett Appl Microbiol 1989; 8: 151–6.
12.Lew A, Desmarchelier P. Molecular typing of Pseudomonas pseudomallei: restriction fragment length polymorphisms of the rRNA genes. J Clin Microbiol 1993: 31: 533–9.
13.Cameron DN, Khambaty FM, Wachsmuth IK, Tauxe RV, Barrett TJ. Molecular characterisation of Vibrio cholerae O1 strains by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. J Clin Microbiol 1994; 32: 1685–90.
14.Wachsmuth IK. Molecular epidemiology of cholera. In: Wachsmuth IK, Blake PA, Olsvik O. eds. Vibrio cholerae and cholera: Molecular to global perspective. Washington: ASM Press. 1994; 357–70.
15.Salles CA, Momen H. Identification of Vibrio cholerae by enzyme electrophoresis. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 1991; 85: 544–7.
16.Wachsmuth IK, Evins GM, Fields PI et al. , The molecular epidemiology of cholera in Latin America. J Infect Dis 1993; 167: 621–6.
17.Koblavi S, Grimont F, Grimont PAD. Clonal diversity of Vibrio cholerae Ol as evidenced by rRNA gene restriction patterns. Res Microbiol 1990; 141: 645–57.
18.Popovic T, Bopp C, Olsvik O, Wachsmuth K. Epidemiologic application of a standardised ribotype scheme for Vibrio cholerae Ol. J Clin Microbiol 1993; 31: 2474–82.
19.Karaolis DKR, Lan RT, Reeves PR. Molecular evolution of the 7th pandemic clone of Vibrio cholerae and its relationship to other pandemic and epidemic Vibrio cholerae isolates. J Bacteriol 1994; 176: 6199–206.
20.Stroeher UH, Karageorgos LE, Morona R, Manning PA. Serotype conversion in Vibrio cholerae Ol. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 1992; 89: 2566–70.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 3 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 32 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 20th January 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.