Quantitative PCR enumeration of vcgC and 16S rRNA type A and B genes as virulence indicators for environmental and clinical strains of Vibrio vulnificus in Galveston Bay oysters.
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Oysters from a reef in Galveston Bay, Texas, USA, were screened for more virulent clinical strains versus less virulent environmental strains of Vibrio vulnificus using a combination of quantitative PCR assays for the virulence correlating gene (clinical variant, vcgC) and 16S rRNA types A and B (type A = environmental, type B = clinical). The combination of vcgC and 16S rRNA type B loci to determine clinical type strains was suitable, as indicated by the strong correlation (R2 = 0.98; p < 0.001) between these gene counts over time and their relative proportion (up to 93.8% and 94.3%, respectively) to vvhA genes used to quantify all strains of V. vulnificus. A strong seasonal shift of V. vulnificus strain types was observed. Environmental strains (16S rRNA type A) predominated from April to mid-June as salinities increased from 22 to 27 PSU (practical salinity unit) and temperatures rose 20 to 28 °C, with peak gene quantities of 16 812 ± 56 CFU/g. As temperatures increased to ≥30 °C from mid-June to September and salinities rose above 27 PSU, clinical strains (16S rRNA type B; vcgC) predominated with peak quantities 31 868 ± 287 and 32 360 ± 178 CFU/g, respectively.
author list (cited authors)
Çam, S., Brinkmeyer, R., & Schwarz, J. R.
complete list of authors
Çam, Sedat||Brinkmeyer, Robin||Schwarz, John R