Conversion of viable but nonculturable Vibrio cholerae to the culturable state by co-culture with eukaryotic cells


  • A preliminary reporting of these findings was presented at the 43rd Annual Joint Panel Meeting of Cholera and Other Enteric Diseases, US-Japan Cooperative Medical Science Program, Fukuoka, Japan, 17–19 November, 2008.

Yoshifumi Takeda, Collaborative Research Center of Okayama University for Infectious Diseases in India, Dr. S. C. Banerjee Rd, ID Hospital Campus, Beliaghata, Kolkata 700010, India.
Tel: 91-33-2363-3373; fax: 91-33-2363-2398; email:


VBNC Vibrio cholerae O139 VC-280 obtained by incubation in 1% solution of artificial sea water IO at 4°C for 74 days converted to the culturable state when co-cultured with CHO cells. Other eukaryotic cell lines, including HT-29, Caco-2, T84, HeLa, and Intestine 407, also supported conversion of VBNC cells to the culturable state. Conversion of VBNC V. cholerae O1 N16961 and V. cholerae O139 VC-280/pG13 to the culturable state, under the same conditions, was also confirmed. When VBNC V. cholerae O139 VC-280 was incubated in 1% IO at 4°C for up to 91 days, the number of cells converted by co-culture with CHO cells declined with each additional day of incubation and after 91 days conversion was not observed.