VetBact logo


Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Veterinary bacteriology: information about important bacteria
Veterinary bacteriology

Species/Subspecies: Vibrio cholerae
Categories: Motile; primarily of interest in human medicin; notifiable diseases and bacteria
Etymology: Genus name: The vibrating organism
AE: from cholera (a serious enteric disease)
Significance:  [Very important]   
Type Strain: ATCC 14035 = CCUG 9118 A = NCTC 8021
Macromorphology (smell):
Micromorphology: Motile straight or comma-shaped rods (0.5-0.8 x 1.4-2.6 µm).
Gram +/Gram -:G-
Metabolism: Facultatively anaerobic
Other Enzymes: Tryptophanase + (= indole +), urease -.
Biochemical Tests: Citrat +, methyl red +, Voges-Proskauer (+)
Fermentation of carbohydrates:
Glucose (gas) -
Spec. Char.: Some strains can grow in up to 6% NaCl.
HostsDiseaseClinical picture
HumansCholeraViolent, watery diarrhea that quickly causes large fluid losses. The disease could be fatal in severe cases if left untreated.
The stool becomes whitish and resembles boiled rice water. Vomiting occurs, but does not dominate.
Virulence Factors: Cholera toxin (CTX, Ctx or CT) forms a protein complex consisting of six subunits (1 A subunit + 5 B subunits). This type of toxins is usually referred to as AB5 proteins. CTX resembles the heat labile enterotoxin, produced by certain strains of Escherichia coli. CTX acts on certain proteins in the intestinal mucosa, leading to large losses of water in the intestine, which in turn results in severe dehydration.

The gene for CTX is carried by a filamentous bacteriophage, called CTXphi (CTXφ). This phage is temperate and can be integrated into the genome (one of the chromosomes) in V. cholerae. CTXφ can also be transferred between different strains of V. cholerae .

Genome Sequence:
Acc-noStrainSize (bp)Genome
NC_002505 and NC_002506 Stam N16961 (Biovar elTor) 4 033 465 2c + 0 
Krom. I (2 961 149) resp. krom. II (1 072 315)

16S rRNA Seq.:
Acc-noStrainNumber of NTOperon
X74695 ATCC 14035T 1463 
Åtta rRNA-operon i krom. I och inga i krom. II

About 120 species within genus Vibrio have been described. Members of this genus are closely related to members within the genera Aliivibrio and Listonella.
Legislation: Human infections of V. cholerae are according to the Swedish communicable disease act notifiable to the county medical officer and the Public Health Agency of Sweden. V. cholerae belongs to category B as a potential bioterrorism agent according to NIAID.
Comment:Produces cholera toxin


New names of taxa within the classification category phylum

During October 2021, an article was published by A. Oren och G.M. Garrity, in which new names are proposed for a number of taxa within the classification category phylum. This has resulted in many discussions in social media about whether it was really necessary to make these changes, which have created confusion among microbiologists and other professionals who come into contact with bacteriology.

Published 2022-09-28. Read more...

Recently Updated

Recent blog posts

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences