The neuraminidase gene, nanH, is present in the O1, non-toxigenic Vibrio cholerae
Amazonia strain. Its location has been assigned to a 150 kb NotI DNA fragment, with the use of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and DNA hybridization. This NotI fragment is positioned inside 630 kb SfiI and 1900 kb I-CeuI fragments of chromosome 1. Association of the pathogenicity island VPI-2, carrying nanH and other genes, with toxigenic strains has been described by other authors. The presence of nanH in a non-toxigenic strain is an exception to this rule. The Amazonia strain nanH was sequenced (Genbank accession No. AY825932) and compared to available V. cholerae sequences. The sequence is different from those of pandemic strains, with 72 nucleotide substitutions. This is the first description of an O1 strain with a different nanH allele. The most variable domain of the Amazonia NanH is the second lectin wing, comprising 13 out of 17 amino acid substitutions. Based on the presence of nanH in the same region of the genome, and similarity of the adjacent sequences to VPI-2 sequences, it is proposed that the pathogenicity island VPI-2 is present in this strain.