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Environmental reservoirs of Vibrio cholerae
M. Sirajul Islam | M. H. Zaman | M. Shafiqul Islam | Niyaz Ahmed | J. D. Clemens
Date of Publication:
February 29, 2020
The environmental reservoir of Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of cholera, has been a topic of scientific investigation ever since the discovery of the bacterium itself. While the bacteria can be isolated from both clinical and environmental sources during epidemics, it evades isolation by conventional culture techniques during the period between successive epidemics. This article focuses on the epidemiological importance of the environmental reservoir of V. cholerae, considering several investigations made on different types of aquatic fauna (zooplanktons, crustaceans, etc.) and flora (macrophytes and microphytes). After evaluating different lines of evidence, we make the case that certain species of cyanobacteria (Anabaena variabilis, Microcystis aeruginosa) can act as inter-epidemic reservoirs of V. cholerae. Physiological and functional aspects of this association are also discussed. We then present a hypothesis, expanding upon a previously published conceptual model, of how the climate-regulated seasonality of cholera epidemics is mediated by the effect of climatic factors on algal bloom and other local abiotic variables in the water, using Bangladesh as a model. Finally, another aspect of the climate-dependence of disease patterns is briefly explored: large-scale environmental signatures associated with cholera, and recent modelling efforts to predict cholera outbreaks based on coastal phytoplankton. The review, therefore, serves not only as a study of the identity of the inter-epidemic reservoir of V. cholerae, but also explores different ways in which the reservoir and the pathogen behaviour is affected by the climate, and the possible consequences it may have on disease pattern.
Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) as a Putative Reservoir Host for Survival and Transmission of Vibrio cholerae O1 Biotype El Tor in the Aquatic Environment
Yaovi Mahuton Gildas Hounmanou | Robinson H. Mdegela | Tamegnon Victorien Dougnon | Henry Madsen | Jeffrey H. Withey | John E. Olsen | Anders Dalsgaard
Date of Publication:
Frontiers in Microbiology
Studies have reported the occurrence of Vibrio cholerae in fish but little is known about the interaction between fish and toxigenic V. cholerae as opposed to phytoplankton, which are well-established aquatic reservoirs for V. cholerae. The present study determined the role of tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) as a reservoir host for survival and transmission of V. cholerae in aquatic environments. The study revealed that El Tor biotype V. cholerae O1 and V. cholerae non-O1 colonized tilapia intestines and persisted at stable concentrations during the second week of the experiment whereas the Classical biotype was undetectable after 1 week. In stagnant water with feeding, V. cholerae counts dropped to 105 cfu/ml in water and from 107 to 104 cfu/intestine in fish after 14 days. When water was renewed, counts in water decreased from 107 to 103 cfu/ml and intestinal counts went from 106 to 102 cfu/intestine regardless of feeding. All strains were transmitted from infected to naïve fish after 24 h of cohabitation. Tilapia like other fish may play an essential role in the survival and dissemination of V. cholerae O1 in aquatic environments, e.g., the seventh pandemic strains mostly. In this study, tilapia were exposed to high concentrations of V. cholerae to ensure initial uptake and follow-up studies with lower doses resembling natural concentrations of V. cholerae in the aquatic environment are needed to confirm our findings.
Changing facades of Vibrio cholerae: An enigma in the epidemiology of cholera
N. Lekshmi | Iype Joseph | T. Ramamurthy | Sabu Thomas
Date of Publication:
The Indian Journal of Medical Research
Cholera, caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Vibrio cholerae, has ravaged humanity from time immemorial. Although the disease can be treated using antibiotics along with administration of oral rehydration salts and controlled by good sanitation, cholera is known to have produced mayhem in ancient times when little was known about the pathogen. By the 21st century, ample information about the pathogen, its epidemiology, genetics, treatment and control strategies was revealed. However, there is still fear of cholera outbreaks in developing countries, especially in the wake of natural calamities. Studies have shown that the bacterium is mutating and evolving, out-competing all our efforts to treat the disease with previously used antibiotics and control with existing vaccines. In this review, the major scientific insights of cholera research are discussed. Considering the important role of biofilm formation in the V. cholerae life cycle, the vast availability of next-generation sequencing data of the pathogen and multi-omic approach, the review thrusts on the identification of suitable biofilm-inhibiting targets and the discovery of anti-biofilm drugs from nature to control the disease.
Great cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) as potential vectors for the dispersal of Vibrio cholerae
Sivan Laviad -Shitrit | Tidhar Lev-Ari | Gadi Katzir | Yehonatan Sharaby | Ido Izhaki | Malka Halpern
Date of Publication:
Vibrio cholerae is the cause of cholera, a devastating epidemic and pandemic disease. Despite its importance, the way of its global dissemination is unknown. V. cholerae is abundant in aquatic habitats and is known to be borne by copepods, chironomids and fishes. Our aim was to determine if fish-eating birds act as vectors in the spread of V. cholerae by consuming infected fish. We determined the existence of V. cholerae in the microbiome of 5/7 wild cormorants’ intestine. In three of these V. cholerae-positive wild cormorants, the presence of a gene for cholera toxin (ctxA) was detected. We subsequently tested eight captive, hand-reared cormorants, divided into two equal groups. Prior to the experiment, the feces of the cormorants were V. cholerae-negative. One group was fed exclusively on tilapias, which are naturally infected with V. cholerae, and the other was fed exclusively on goldfish or on koi that were V. cholerae-negative. We detected V. cholerae in the feces of the tilapia-fed, but not in the goldfish/koi-fed, cormorants. Hence, we demonstrate that fish-eating birds can be infected with V. cholerae from their fish prey. The large-scale movements of many fish-eating birds provide a potential mechanism for the global distribution of V. cholerae.