Query: NC_002505:514732 Vibrio cholerae O1 biovar eltor str. N16961 chromosome I, complete Lineage: Vibrio cholerae; Vibrio; Vibrionaceae; Vibrionales; Proteobacteria; Bacteria General Information: This is an epidemic serogroup of Vibrio cholerae isolated in 1971 in Bangladesh and is distinguished from the classical biotype due to hemolysin production. This genus is abundant in marine or freshwater environments such as estuaries, brackish ponds, or coastal areas; regions that provide an important reservoir for the organism in between outbreaks of the disease. Vibrio can affect shellfish, finfish, and other marine animals and a number of species are pathogenic for humans. Vibrio cholerae can colonize the mucosal surface of the small intestines of humans where it will cause cholera, a severe and sudden onset diarrheal disease. One famous outbreak was traced to a contaminated well in London in 1854 by John Snow, and epidemics, which can occur with extreme rapidity, are often associated with conditions of poor sanitation. The disease has a high lethality if left untreated, and millions have died over the centuries. There have been seven major pandemics between 1817 and today. Six were attributed to the classical biotype, while the 7th, which started in 1961, is associated with the El Tor biotype.
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General Information: Isolated from a soil sample from Nepal. Causative agent of plague. Specific virulence factors are encoded within pathogenicity islands (PAIs) that are required for the invasive phenotype associated with Yersinia infections. One key virulence plasmid contained by the three human-specific pathogens is pCD1/pYv, which encodes a type III secretion system for the delivery of virulence proteins that contribute to internalization into the host cell. It is the causative agent of plague (bubonic and pulmonary) a devastating disease which has killed millions worldwide. The organism can be transmitted from rats to humans through the bite of an infected flea or from human-to-human through the air during widespread infection. Yersinia pestis is an extremely pathogenic organism that requires very few numbers in order to cause disease, and is often lethal if left untreated. The organism is enteroinvasive, and can survive and propagate in macrophages prior to spreading systemically throughout the host. Yersinia pestis consists of three biotypes or serovars, Antiqua, Mediavalis, and Orientalis, that are associated with three major pandemics throughout human history. pMT1 encodes a protein, murine toxin, that aids rat-to-human transmission by enhancing survival of the organism in the flea midgut. Yersinia pestis also contains a PAI on the chromosome that is similar to the SPI-2 PAI from Salmonella that allows intracellular survival in the organism.