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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2011 Sep;77(17):6125-32. doi: 10.1128/AEM.01472-10. Epub 2011 Jul 15.

Role of zooplankton diversity in Vibrio cholerae population dynamics and in the incidence of cholera in the Bangladesh Sundarbans.

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University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, Biomolecular Science Bldg. #296, Room 3103, College Park, MD 20742, USA.


Vibrio cholerae, a bacterium autochthonous to the aquatic environment, is the causative agent of cholera, a severe watery, life-threatening diarrheal disease occurring predominantly in developing countries. V. cholerae, including both serogroups O1 and O139, is found in association with crustacean zooplankton, mainly copepods, and notably in ponds, rivers, and estuarine systems globally. The incidence of cholera and occurrence of pathogenic V. cholerae strains with zooplankton were studied in two areas of Bangladesh: Bakerganj and Mathbaria. Chitinous zooplankton communities of several bodies of water were analyzed in order to understand the interaction of the zooplankton population composition with the population dynamics of pathogenic V. cholerae and incidence of cholera. Two dominant zooplankton groups were found to be consistently associated with detection of V. cholerae and/or occurrence of cholera cases, namely, rotifers and cladocerans, in addition to copepods. Local differences indicate there are subtle ecological factors that can influence interactions between V. cholerae, its plankton hosts, and the incidence of cholera.

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