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Free Content Molecular tracking of the lineage of strains of Vibrio cholerae O1 biotype El Tor associated with a cholera outbreak in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India

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A large outbreak of acute watery diarrhoea involving all age groups of mongoloid tribal aborigines occurred during October–November, 2002 in the Nancowry group of Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Indian Ocean. Twenty-one of the 67 stool samples from 67 patients were positive for toxigenic Vibrio cholerae O1, serotype Ogawa biotype El Tor, which showed striking similarity in its antibiogram with some of the strains of V. cholerae O1 Serotype Ogawa biotype El Tor isolated in Kolkata. The Nancowry and Kolkata isolates were compared with molecular tools involving random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) fingerprinting, ribotyping and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). RAPD fingerprinting and ribotyping techniques revealed that all the V. cholerae strains associated with the outbreak in these islands were clonal in nature and identical to a population of isolates obtained from Kolkata since 1993. PFGE could discriminate within these Kolkata isolates further and established that a particular subtype of this population reached the remote Nancowry islands and was responsible for the outbreak.

Keywords: Vibrio cholerae; cholera; clonal spread; epidemic

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC), Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India 2: National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Publication date: June 1, 2005


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