In recent clinical assays, our cholera vaccine candidate strain, Vibrio cholerae 638 El Tor Ogawa, was well tolerated and immunogenic in Cuban volunteers. In this work we describe the construction of 638T, a thymidine auxotrophic version of improved environmental biosafety. In so doing, the thyA gene from V. cholerae was cloned, sequenced, mutated in vitro, and used to replace the wild-type allele. Except for its dependence on thymidine for growth in minimal medium, 638T is essentially indistinguishable from 638 in the rate of growth and morphology in complete medium. The two strains showed equivalent phenotypes with regard to motility, expression of the celA marker, colonization capacity in the infant mouse cholera model, and immunogenicity in the adult rabbit cholera model. However, the ability of this new strain to survive environmental starvation was limited with respect to that of 638. Taken together, these results suggest that this live, attenuated, but nonproliferative strain is a new, promising cholera vaccine candidate.