Role of coaggregation in the pathogenicity and prolonged colonisation of Vibrio cholerae

Yien Shin Toh, Soo Ling Yeoh, Ivan Kok Seng Yap, Cindy Shuan Ju Teh, Thin Thin Win, Kwai Lin Thong, Chun Wie Chong

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Cholera is an acute diarrheal illness caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The pathogen is known for its ability to form biofilm that confers protection against harsh environmental condition and as part of the colonisation process during infection. Coaggregation is a process that facilitates the formation of biofilm. In a preliminary in vitro study, high coaggregation index and biofilm production were found between V. cholerae with human commensals namely Escherichia coli and Enterobacter cloacae. Building upon these results, the effects of coaggregation were further evaluated using adult BALB/c mouse model. The animal study showed no significant differences in mortality and fluid accumulation ratio between treatment groups infected with V. cholerae alone and those infected with coaggregation partnership (V. cholerae with E. coli or V. cholerae with E. cloacae). However, mild inflammation was detected in both partnering pairs. Higher density of V. cholerae was recovered from faecal samples of mice co-infected with E. coli and V. cholerae in comparison with other groups at 24 h post-infection. This partnership also elicited slightly higher levels of interleukin-5 (IL-5) and interleukin-10 (IL-10). Nonetheless, the involvement of autoinducer-2 (AI-2) as the signalling molecules in quorum sensing system is not evident in this study. Since E. coli is one of the common commensals, our result may suggest the involvement of commensals in cholera development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)793-809
Number of pages17
JournalMedical Microbiology and Immunology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Adult mouse model
  • Coaggregation
  • Human commensal
  • Vibrio cholerae

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