Development of an in vitro model for study of non-O1 Vibrio cholerae virulence using Caco-2 cells

P. Panigrahi, B. D. Tall, R. G. Russell, L. J. Detolla, J. G. Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Non-O1 Vibrio cholerae strains have been reported as a causative agent of diarrhea throughout the world. We recently reported that non-O1 V. cholerae strains cause diarrhea in human volunteers. In this study we evaluated the virulence of three strains of non-O1 V. cholerae in a Caco-2 cell adherence assay by light and electron microscopy. A-5 is an environmental isolate which failed to colonize volunteers and did not cause diarrhea. It exhibited low numbers of organisms adherent to Caco-2 cells, leaving the microvilli intact. Strain 2076-79, isolated from a patient with diarrhea, colonized human volunteers without producing disease. It adhered to Caco-2 cells in moderate numbers without producing any damage to the microvilli. Strain NRT36S, a clinical isolate, colonized human volunteers and produced significantly diarrheal disease. This strain adhered in very large numbers to Caco-2 cells and caused damage to the brush borders. Membrane-bound bacteria were also seen within the cytoplasm of these cells. Scanning electron microscopy confirmed the generalized adherence of NRT36S to the microvilli of Caco-2 cells. The three strains did not appear to compete with each other for binding sites on Caco-2 cells and were not adherent when assays were conducted at 4°C. Our results with strains A-5, 2076-79, and NRT36S correlate well with observations in human volunteer studies, suggesting that Caco-2 cells provide an appropriate in vitro system for further investigation of the pathogenesis of non-O1 V. cholerae gastroenteritis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3415-3424
Number of pages10
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Development of an in vitro model for study of non-O1 Vibrio cholerae virulence using Caco-2 cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this