Molecular characterization of Vibrio cholerae O1 isolates obtained from outbreaks in the Philippines, 2015–2016

Mark Philip Bugayong, Hidemasa Izumiya, Josie M. Bilar, Masatomo Morita, Eiji Arakawa, Mariko Saito-Obata, Hitoshi Oshitani, Makoto Ohnishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction. The Philippines, comprising three island groups, namely, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, experienced an increase in cholera outbreaks in 2016. Previous studies have shown that Vibrio cholerae isolates obtained from the Philippines are novel hybrid El Tor strains that have evolved in the country and are clearly distinct from those found in Mozambique and Cameroon. Gap statement. The characterization of the strains isolated from outbreaks has been limited to phenotypic characteristics, such as biochemical and serological characteristics, in most previous studies. Aim. We performed multilocus variable-number tandem repeat (VNTR) analysis (MLVA) for V. cholerae isolates obtained from 2015 to 2016 to further characterize and understand the emergence and dissemination of the strains in the Philippines. Methodology. A total of 139 V. cholerae O1 Ogawa biotype El Tor isolates were obtained from the Philippines during diarrhoeal outbreaks in 18 provinces between 2015 and 2016. VNTR data were analysed to classify the MLVA profiles where the large-chromosome types (LCTs) were applied for grouping. Results. We identified 50 MLVA types among 139 isolates originating from 18 provinces, and 14 LCTs. The distribution of the LCTs was variable, and a few were located in specific areas or even in specific provinces. Based on eBURST analysis, 99 isolates with 7 LCTs and 32 MLVA types belonged to 1 group, suggesting that they were related to each other. LCT A was predominant (n=67) and was isolated from Luzon and Visayas. LCT A had 14 MLVA types; however, it mostly emerged during a single quarter of a year. Eight clusters were identified, each of which involved specific MLVA type(s). The largest cluster involved 23 isolates showing 3 MLVA types, 21 of which were MLVA type A-14 isolated from Negros Occidental during quarter 4 of 2016. Comparative analysis showed that almost all isolates from the Philippines were distinct from those in other countries. Conclusions. The genotypic relationship of the V. cholerae isolates obtained during outbreaks in the Philippines was studied, and their emergence and dissemination were elucidated. MLVA revealed the short-term dynamics of V. cholerae genotypes in the Philippines.

Original languageEnglish
Article number001443
JournalJournal of Medical Microbiology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Large-chromosome types
  • Molecular epidemiology
  • Multilocus variable-number tandem repeat analysis
  • Philippines
  • V. cholerae O1
  • eBURST grouping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Molecular characterization of Vibrio cholerae O1 isolates obtained from outbreaks in the Philippines, 2015–2016'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this