Analysis of the vcgC gene in Vibrio vulnificus isolates from the Texas Coastal Bend region of the Gulf of Mexico




Buck, Gregory W
Brumfield, LarReshia I
Giagnocavo, Stephanie Dudics
Perkins, Danielle S
Tortosa, Alvaro Ortola
Okuyemi, Tolulope B
Carbaugh, Joshua S
Planas Costas, Githzette M
Ramirez, Gabriel D


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Vibrio vulnificus is a gram-negative, halophilic bacterium normally found in temperate marine and estuarine waters. The organism may enter wounds in the skin and cause sepsis or necrotizing fasciitis; the latter condition has a 50-60% mortality rate and may result in death or disfigurement within 4-6 days. Persons exposed to coastal flood waters during hurricanes may be at risk for this organism. The virulence-correlated gene, vcgC, is specific for clinical isolates of V. vulnificus, but the function of this locus remains unknown. This study used Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and novel primers for vcgC not previously described to specifically identify V. vulnificus isolates from the Texas Coastal Bend region that may result in serious infections. Of the 28 isolates, four isolates could not be revived multiple times; crude lysates of the remaining 24 Vibrio vulnificus cultures were analyzed by PCR, and 19 were found to have amplicons of 428bp for vcgC. This study confirms the presence of the vcgC gene in V. vulnificus isolates from the Texas Coastal Bend region of the Gulf of Mexico.



PCR, virulence factors, vcgC, genome placticity, pathogenic marine bacteria


This research was funded by NIH Extramural Associates Research Development Award PAR 05-053 to G.W.B; Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi University Research Enhancement Award to G.W.B.; Texas Research Development Funds Award to G.W.B. Undergraduate researcher L.I.B. was funded by the McNair Scholars Program to Texas A&M Univ-Corpus Christi. Undergraduate researchers S.D.G. and D. S. P. were funded by the Research Experience for Undergraduates to Texas A&M Univ.-Corpus Christi. G.P.C was funded by Bridging Master’s Students to the Doctorate, NIGMS 2R25 GM071936-034 subaward from the University of Texas Medical Branch; Undergraduate researcher A.O.T. was funded by the Texas A&M System Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation. The lab of G.W.B. was presented a substantial gift by an anonymous donor. We thank Suzzette Chopin for additional support; Alyssa Garcia, Louise Lyle, Valerie May, Jessica Ramirez, Tyler Vance and Emilio Vasquez for technical assistance; Cherie McCollough for helpful comments to the manuscript. This manuscript is dedicated to Dr. Joanna B. Mott, former Chair of Life Sciences, who provided initial exposure to working with Vibrio vulnificus.


CC BY 4.0 DEED Attribution 4.0 International


Gregory W Buck*, LarReshia I Brumfield, Stephanie Dudics Giagnocavo, etal. Analysis of the vcgC Gene in Vibrio vulnificus Isolates from the Texas Coastal Bend region of the Gulf of Mexico. J Biotech Biores. 4(5). JBB. 000599. 2023. DOI: 10.31031/JBB.2023.04.000599