Since 2007, there has been a re-emergence of cholera outbreaks in northern Vietnam. To understand the molecular epidemiological relatedness and determine the antibiotic susceptibility profiles of responsible V. cholerae O1 outbreak strains, a representative collection of 100 V. cholerae O1 strains was characterized. V. cholerae O1 strains isolated from diarrhoeal patients in northern Vietnam between 2007 and 2010 were investigated for antibiotic susceptibility and characterized by using phenotypic and genotypic tests, including PFGE analysis. Ten clinical V. cholerae O1 isolates from Bangladesh and Zimbabwe were included for comparison. The results revealed that all isolates were resistant to co-trimoxazole and nalidixic acid, 29% were resistant to tetracycline and 1% were resistant to azithromycin. All strains were susceptible to ampicillin sulbactam, doxycycline, chloramphenicol and ciprofloxacin and 95% were susceptible to azithromycin. MIC values did show reduced susceptibility to fluoroquinolones and 63% of the strains were intermediately resistant to tetracycline. The isolates expressed phenotypic traits of both serogroup O1 Ogawa and El Tor and harboured an rstR El Tor and ctxB classical biotype. Among the outbreak isolates, only a single PFGE pattern was observed throughout the study period. This study shows that multi-drug resistant V. cholerae altered El Tor producing classical CT strains are now predominant in northern Vietnam.
- EMC MM-04-28-01