Direct identification of Vibrio vulnificus by PCR targeting elastase gene

Jae Won Lee, In Joon Jun, Hyun Jin Kwun, Kyung Lib Jang, Jaeho Cha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


A PCR assay for the rapid detection of Vibrio vulnificus strains was developed using a virulence gene for elastase found in various Vibrio species. The DNA sequences in the elastase gene facilitated the identification of a species-specific probe for pathogenic V. vulnificus strains from both clinical and environmental sources. Using an elastase gene-based PCR reaction, a species-specific 507-bp PCR product was visualized by agarose gel electrophoresis. Three different DNA extraction methods were then compared to improve the simplicity and rapidity of detection. A PCR assay using the conventional DNA extraction or boiling method was able to detect as few as 25 V. vulnificus cells, making the detection limits at least 1-log-scale lower than that for the EDTA-treated DNA extraction method. In particular, the boiling method, which does not require purification of the chromosomal DNA, was very effective in terms of simple and rapid detection. Meanwhile, the detection limit in a mixed bacterial culture that included other bacteria, such as Escherichia coli or Bacillus subtilis, was two V. vulnificus cells, which was 1-log-scale lower than that for the control. Accordingly, when coupled with a new DNA extraction method, the elastase gene-based PCR can provide a rapid, specific, and sensitive method for identifying V. vulnificus in clinical and environmental samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-289
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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