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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1990 Aug;56(8):2370-3.

Detection of Vibrio cholerae O1 in the aquatic environment by fluorescent-monoclonal antibody and culture methods.

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International Center for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh.


Vibrio cholerae O1 in plankton samples collected from ponds and rivers between February 1987 and January 1990 in Matlab, Bangladesh, was detected by the fluorescent-monoclonal antibody (FA) technique. Samples were collected at sites which were monitored fortnightly (fixed sites) as well as at sites that were part of a case-control study. FA results were compared with those obtained by conventional culture methods (CM). A total of 876 samples were collected; V. cholerae O1 was detected in 563 samples (64.27%) by the FA method and in 3 samples (0.34%) by CM. Of the fixed-site plankton samples, 439 (63.62%) were positive by FA and none were positive by CM. Of the 93 case sites sampled on the day after the occurrence of a case of cholera, 73 (78.49%) were positive for V. cholerae O1 by FA and 3 (3.2%) were positive by CM. In comparison, of the 93 first-day sample collections at control sites at the time a case of cholera occurred, only 51 (54.83%) were positive by FA and none were positive by CM. From the data, it is concluded that V. cholerae O1 is present throughout the year in the ponds and rivers of Bangladesh that were examined in this study and that V. cholerae can be detected by FA but not always by CM. The FA procedure was found to be very useful in detecting V. cholerae in plankton, with which it was associated and often occurred in large numbers in the nonculturable stage. Thus, studies investigating the significance of the role of environmental factors in the epidemiology of cholera can be performed effectively by using FA. Such studies are in progress.

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