Chapter 10 : Cholera: Environmental Reservoirs and Impact on Disease Transmission

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Cholera is a severe and sometimes fatal diarrheal disease caused by the comma-shaped bacterium . The disease is acquired through the consumption of food or water contaminated by this microorganism. Cholera has virtually disappeared from developed countries due to high hygiene standards and water quality; however, many developing countries that lack the needed infrastructure and have poor sanitation continue to endure the menace of the disease ( ). Disease outbreaks are often associated with and accentuated by floods and conflict that allow increased fecal contamination of water supplies.

Citation: Almagro-Moreno S, Taylor R. 2014. Cholera: Environmental Reservoirs and Impact on Disease Transmission, p 149-165. In Atlas R, Maloy S (ed), One Health. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.OH-0003-2012
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life cycle and interactions.The life cycle of is complex and includes numerous physiological states and interactions with natural inhabitants of brackish riverine, estuarine, and coastal waters. can be directly isolated from the water (free-living culturable) or found in a VBNC state, as CVEC, or in the form of biofilms on diverse surfaces. It has been shown that the stools of patients with cholera still contain microcolonies of pathogenic . has several known natural predators, such as bacteriophages and protozoa. These predators are thought to play a crucial role in the dynamics of cholera epidemics by thriving on choleragenic when their numbers flourish. Also, some bacteria have antagonistic interactions with , preventing its growth on solid surfaces. Cholera can be acquired not only through the consumption of contaminated water containing choleragenic but also through the ingestion of foods contaminated with the bacterium. has been found associated with several sea and riverine dwellers such as algae, shellfish, chironomids and their egg masses, fish, waterfowl, amebae, and crustaceans, most critically copepods. The role of some of these environmental reservoirs of in cholera epidemics remains to be clarified. Nonetheless, several novel findings discussed in the text point to naturally requiring some of these hosts as vectors to cause cholera in humans, which establishes the disease as a zoonosis. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.OH-0003-2012.f1

Citation: Almagro-Moreno S, Taylor R. 2014. Cholera: Environmental Reservoirs and Impact on Disease Transmission, p 149-165. In Atlas R, Maloy S (ed), One Health. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.OH-0003-2012
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