Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

, Volume 112, Issue 8, pp 1199–1211 | Cite as

Population structure and genetic diversity of Vibrio parahaemolyticus from a coastal area of China based on a multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) scheme

  • Yu Li
  • Hong-Qiu Yin
  • Jun Xia
  • Hong LuoEmail author
  • Ming-Yi WangEmail author
Original Paper


The Gram-negative marine bacterium Vibrio parahaemolyticus has been identified as a major cause of bacterial food poisoning in China. Here, the population structure and genetic diversity of V. parahaemolyticus from Weihai, a coastal city in China, was studied by the multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) method. In this survey, we isolated 40 strains including environmental and clinical samples of patients with acute gastroenteritis or diarrhea; isolates from other countries were also included for comparison. DnaSP Version5, START V2, eBURST version3 and Mega 6 were used to analyse the data. We found that ST3 and ST332 were the most prevalent clones and that they were closely associated with acute diarrhoeal diseases. These STs showed a low dN/dS ratio and significant linkage disequilibrium. All isolates were divided into four clonal complexes, six groups and nine singletons, showing a high degree of genetic diversity. 18 STs, mostly from environmental isolates, were recognised by the MLST analysis for the first time. In conclusion, ST3 and ST332 were the epidemic STs in the coastal area. ST332 might be a region-specific ST, which needs to be confirmed by further analysis. Thus, the long-term monitoring of V. parahaemolyticus plays an important role in preventing and controlling the transmission between environment and people in Weihai.


Clonal complex Genetic diversity MLST Population structure Vibrio parahaemolyticus 



This work was supported by Primary Research & Development Plan of Shandong Province (No. 2016GSF121036) and the National Science and Technology Major Project of China (2013ZX10004217).

Authors’ contribution

Hong Luo and Ming-Yi Wang designed experiments; and Hong-Qiu Yin carried out experiments; Yu Li and Jun Xia analysed sequencing data and experimental results; Yu Li wrote the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest concerning this article.

Ethical statement

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinic Laboratory CenterYuhuangding Hospital Affiliated to Qingdao UniversityYantaiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Central LabWeihai Municipal Hospital Affiliated to Dalian Medical UniversityWeihaiPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Medical Laboratory, College of Laboratory MedicineDalian Medical UniversityDalianPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.The Wendeng Osteopathic HospitalWeihaiPeople’s Republic of China
  5. 5.Department of Medical AdministrationWeihai Health and Family Planning CommissionWeihaiPeople’s Republic of China

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