Characterization of Vibrio parahaemolyticus Isolates Obtained from Foodborne Illness Outbreaks during 1992 through 1995 in Taiwan

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Vibrio parahaemolyticus is an important foodborne pathogen in Taiwan and many other Asian countries. A total of 371 isolates of V. parahaemolyticus collected from patients involved in foodborne illness outbreaks in Taiwan from 1992 to 1995 were characterized. These isolates had typical biochemical characteristics and only 4% were urease positive. The most frequently isolated serovars were O5:K15 (18.5%), O4:K8 (16.2%), O3:K29 (12.5%), O1:K56 (8.3%), O2:K3 (6.5%), and O4: K12 (6.0%). Most of the isolates were susceptible to nalidixic acid, tetracycline, tobramycin, cephalothin, and gentamicin. About 10% of the isolates were resistant to seven or more antibiotics. Approximately 92.4% of these V. parahaemolyticus showed beta-hemolysis on Wagatsuma blood agar plate and approximately 62.1% of these isolates exhibited detectable amounts of thermostable direct hemolysin. Most of the isolates examined exhibited two copies of tdh genes on the 1.3- and 2.5-kb HindIII-digested chromosome fragments with several variations on other fragments. A pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) subspecies typing scheme was used to analyze these domestic isolates and the O3:K6 strains from Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. Fifty seven patterns were differentiated with A, B, C, E, and H being the major domestic types (cumulatively 76% of isolates), while O3:K6 strains (PFGE type I), abruptly occurring since 1996, were genetically distant from the major domestic types.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Microbiology, Soochow University, Taipei, Taiwan 111, Republic of China 2: Bacteriology Division, Center for Disease Control, Taipei, Taiwan 115, Republic of China 3: Food Microbiology Division, National Laboratories of Food and Drug, Taipei, Taiwan 115, Republic of China

Publication date: July 1, 2000

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