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Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2014;379:49-85. doi: 10.1007/82_2014_368.

Cholera outbreaks in India.

Author information

1
National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Kolkata, India, tramu@vsnl.net.

Abstract

Cholera is a global health problem as several thousands of cases and deaths occur each year. The unique epidemiologic attribute of the disease is its propensity to occur as outbreaks that may flare-up into epidemics, if not controlled. The causative bacterial pathogen Vibrio cholerae prevails in the environment and infects humans whenever there is a breakdown in the public health component. The Indian subcontinent is vulnerable to this disease due its vast coastlines with areas of poor sanitation, unsafe drinking water, and overcrowding. Recently, it was shown that climatic conditions also play a major role in the persistence and spread of cholera. Constant change in the biotypes and serotypes of V. cholerae are also important aspects that changes virulence and survival of the pathogen. Such continuous changes increase the infection ability of the pathogen affecting the susceptible population including the children. The short-term carrier status of V. cholerae has been studied well at community level and this facet significantly contributes to the recurrence of cholera. Several molecular tools recognized altering clonality of V. cholerae in relation with the advent of a serogroup or serotype. Rapid identification systems were formulated for the timely detection of the pathogen so as to identify and control the outbreak and institute proper treatment of the patients. The antimicrobials used in the past are no longer useful in the treatment of cholera as V. cholerae has acquired several mechanisms for multiple antimicrobial resistance. This upsurge in antimicrobial resistance directly influences the management of the disease. This chapter provides an overview of cholera prevalence in India, possible sources of infection, and molecular epidemiology along with antimicrobial resistance of V. cholerae.

PMID:
24831345
DOI:
10.1007/82_2014_368
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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