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: This strain (HS; serotype O9) is a human commensal that was originally isolated from a laboratory scientist at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in 1978 (Levine, 1978). Strain HS colonizes the human gastrointestinal tract in challenge experiments, but no overt signs of disease occur. Thus, this strain represents a genomic baseline for human gastrointestinal tract colonization. This organism was named for its discoverer, Theodore Escherich, and is one of the premier model organisms used in the study of bacterial genetics, physiology, and biochemistry. This enteric organism is typically present in the lower intestine of humans, where it is the dominant facultative anaerobe present, but it is only one minor constituent of the complete intestinal microflora. E. coli, is capable of causing various diseases in its host, especially when they acquire virulence traits. E. coli can cause urinary tract infections, neonatal meningitis, and many different intestinal diseases, usually by attaching to the host cell and introducing toxins that disrupt normal cellular processes.