Genomic stability among O3:K6 V. parahaemolyticus pandemic strains isolated between 1996 to 2012 in American countries

BMC Genom Data. 2021 Sep 27;22(1):38. doi: 10.1186/s12863-021-00985-0.


Background: The V. parahaemolyticus pandemic clone, results in the development of gastrointestinal illness in humans. Toxigenic strains of this species are frequently isolated from aquatic habitats and organisms such as mollusks and crustaceans. Reports on the isolation of the pandemic clone started in 1996, when a new O3:K6 clone was identified in Asia, that rapidly spread worldwide, becoming the predominant clone isolated from clinical cases. In this study whole genome sequencing was accomplished with an Illumina MiniSeq platform, upon six novel V. parahaemolyticus strains, that have been isolated in Mexico since 1998 and three representative genomes of strains that were isolated from reported outbreaks in other American countries, and were deposited in the GenBank. These nine genomes were compared against the reference sequence of the O3:K6 pandemic strain (RIMD 2210633), which was isolated in 1996, to determine sequence differences within American isolates and between years of isolation.

Results: The results indicated that strains that were isolated at different times and from different countries, were highly genetically similar, among them as well as to the reference strain RIMD 2210633, indicating a high level of genetic stability among the strains from American countries between 1996 to 2012, without significant genetic changes relative to the reference strain RIMD 2210633, which was isolated in 1996 and was considered to be representative of a novel O3:K6 pandemic strain.

Conclusions: The genomes of V. parahaemolyticus strains isolated from clinical and environmental sources in Mexico and other American countries, presented common characteristics that have been reported for RIMD 2210633 O3:K6 pandemic strain. The major variations that were registered in this study corresponded to genes non associated to virulence factors, which could be the result of adaptations to different environmental conditions. Nevertheless, results do not show a clear pattern with the year or locality where the strains were isolated, which is an indication of a genomic stability of the studied strains.

Keywords: V. parahaemolyticus O3:K6 pandemic clone; V. parahaemolyticus in American countries; V. parahaemolyticus outbreaks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Americas / epidemiology
  • Disease Outbreaks / statistics & numerical data
  • Genomic Instability*
  • Humans
  • Mexico / epidemiology
  • Pandemics*
  • Vibrio Infections / epidemiology*
  • Vibrio Infections / virology*
  • Vibrio parahaemolyticus / classification*
  • Vibrio parahaemolyticus / genetics*
  • Vibrio parahaemolyticus / isolation & purification