Cholera

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Although cholera is not a new disease, it still has the potential to devastate human populations. Discuss the biology of cholera and the significance of recent epidemics.

Cholera is a human intestinal disease caused by a Gram-negative bacterium called Vibrio cholerae that has the potential to devastate human populations (Acar et al. 2003; Joachim and Karl 2002). This bacterium belongs to the Vibronaceae family with a cylinder rod shape and it is highly motile (Joachim and Karl 2002; Garcia and Valdespino 2011). This disease causes the infected host to have watery diarrhoea and vomiting that could cause dehydration and could lead to the death of the host if left untreated in time (Morillon and Garnotel 2004). This bacterium had caused seven serious global pandemic. The longest period of pandemic and the most widespread of cholera geographically is the seventh pandemic (Claire et al. 2004). It lasted from year 1961 to 1991 affecting countries like America, Indonesia and Africa (Claire et al. 2004). Underdeveloped countries like Africa, Bangladesh and India have higher possibility of having pandemic of cholera due to the lack of sanitary problem and health education (Claire et al. 2004). It is less serious in developed countries like America, Japan, China and France as proper education is provided and clean supply of food and water is given to the living community (Claire et al. 2004). Even though in recent years epidemics of cholera have lessened down, occasionally occurrence of cholera epidemic may come about (Alen et al. 2011). Thus, it still poses as a big threat towards the community wellbeing.

Cholera is often transmitted by the ingestion of contaminated water and food mainly seafood such as shellfish, prawns, crab and oysters (Acar et al. 2003). Planktons in the water sometimes contain the Vibrio Cholerae bacteria and sea creatures that ingest them would have the bacteria that will be passed to the community as a source of food (Morillon and Garnotel



References: 1) Acar J, Steffen R, Walker E, Zuckerman J (2003) Cholera: assessing the risk to travellers and identifying methods of protection. Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease 1, No.2, Pp.80-88 2) Alen A, Elsa S, Holly G, Matthias KG, Renee KF (2011) An age-structured model for the spread of epidemic cholera: Analysis and simulation. Nonlinear Analysis: Real World Applications 12, No.6, Pp.3483-3498. 3) Brian K, Christophe LM, Claire J. O, Claudia R, Daniel DM, Erkang F, Ethan AM, Jason CP, Konstantin K, Mark AR, Wim GJ, Xiao-Jian T, Zhongsheng Z, (2004) Structural biology and structure-based inhibitor design of cholera toxin and heat-labile enterotoxin. International Journal of Medical Microbiology 294, No.4, Pp. 217–223. 4) Chandrabali G, Edward TR, Stephen BC (2009) Chapter 45- Cholera. Vaccines for Biodefense and Emerging and Neglected Diseases, Pp.869-889. 5) Claire LC, Eliaser J, Hitoshi O, Jean PC, Mary LH, Michael JO, Philippe Calain (2004) Can oral cholera vaccination play a role in controlling a cholera outbreak?. Vaccine 22, No.19, Pp.2444-2451. 6) Fotedar R (2001) Vector potential of houseflies (Musca domestica) in the transmission of Vibrio cholera in India. Acta Tropica 78, Pp.31-34. 7) Garcia LG, Valdespino JL (2011) Cholera: Environmental Risk Factors. Encyclopedia of Environmental Health. Pp.641-649. 8) Joachim R, Karl EK (2002) Vibrio cholerae and cholera: out of the water and into the host. FEMS Microbiology Reviews 26, No.2, Pp.125-139. 9) Morillon M, Garnotel E (2004) Cholera. EMC – Infectious Diseases 1, No.2, Pp.67-80 10) Morris JG (2008) Cholera and Other Vibrioses. International Encyclopedia of Public Health, Pp.683-692.

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