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J Infect Dis. 1995 Nov;172(5):1401-4.

Vibrio cholerae O139 Bengal infections among tourists to Southeast Asia: an intercontinental foodborne outbreak.

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Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.


To determine the source and extent of an outbreak of Vibrio cholerae O139 Bengal infections among 630 cruise ship passengers to Southeast Asia, a retrospective cohort study was done. Questionnaires were sent to all passengers from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, and serum samples were requested from all passengers reporting diarrhea. A case was defined as diarrheal illness with onset between 8 and 28 February 1994 and a cholera antitoxic antibody titer > or = 800. Six passengers, including 1 with bacteremia, met the case definition. Illness was associated with eating yellow rice at a buffet restaurant in Bangkok on 10 February (relative risk undefined, P = .005). This international outbreak demonstrates foodborne transmission of Vibrio cholerae O139 Bengal, an emerging cause of epidemic cholera in Asia, to tourists from Western countries. Physicians should suspect infection with either V. cholerae O1 or O139 in any patient with severe watery diarrhea after travel to the developing world.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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