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Keywords:

  • vibrio parahaemolyticus;
  • thermostable direct hemolysin;
  • cytotoxicity;
  • enterotoxicity

Abstract

The thermostable direct hemolysin (TDH) has been proposed to be a major virulence factor of Vibrio parahaemolyticus. We have recently completed the genome sequence of a TDH-producing V. parahaemolyticus strain, RIMD2210633. In this study, we constructed tdh-deletion mutants from the sequenced strain by homologous recombination and analyzed their phenotypes. Although the deletion of both copies of tdh completely abolished the hemolytic activity of the wild-type strain, the deletion did not affect the cytotoxicity to HeLa cells. Enterotoxicity, assayed by the rabbit ileal loop test, was lowered by tdh deletion, but the mutant still showed partial fluid accumulation in rabbit intestine. These results indicate that the cytotoxicity and enterotoxicity of TDH-producing V. parahaemolyticus are not explained by TDH alone, and suggest that an unknown virulence factor(s) could be involved in these pathogenic activities.