Comparative genomics of Vibrio Cholerae from Haiti, Asia, and Africa

Aleisha R. Reimer, Gary van Domselaar, Steven Stroika, Matthew Walker, Heather Kent, Cheryl Tarr, Deborah Talkington, Lori Rowe, Melissa Olsen-Rasmussen, Michael Frace, Scott Sammons, Georges Anicet Dahourou, Jacques Boncy, Anthony M. Smith, Philip Mabon, Aaron Petkau, Morag Graham, Matthew W. Gilmour, Peter Gerner-Smidt

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125 Citations (Scopus)


Cholera was absent from the island of Hispaniola at least a century before an outbreak that began in Haiti in the fall of 2010. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis of clinical isolates from the Haiti outbreak and recent global travelers returning to the United States showed indistinguishable PFGE fingerprints. To better explore the genetic ancestry of the Haiti outbreak strain, we acquired 23 whole-genome Vibrio cholerae sequences: 9 isolates obtained in Haiti or the Dominican Republic, 12 PFGE pattern-matched isolates linked to Asia or Africa, and 2 non matched outliers from the Western Hemisphere. Phylogenies for whole-genome sequences and core genome single-nucleotide polymorphisms showed that the Haiti outbreak strain is genetically related to strains originating in India and Cameroon. However, because no identical genetic match was found among sequenced contemporary isolates, a definitive genetic origin for the outbreak in Haiti remains speculative.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2113-2121
Number of pages9
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011

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