How Arctic sea ducks develop herd immunity from avian cholera

Herd immunity, when a threshold proportion of a population becomes immune to a disease-causing organism, reducing or stopping further transmission, is very much in the news. Avian cholera much less so. But there is an intersection ...

Secret to how cholera adapts to temperature revealed

Scientists have discovered an essential protein in cholera-causing bacteria that allows them to adapt to changes in temperature, according to a study published today in eLife.

Small molecules control bacterial resistance to antibiotics

(Friedrich-Schiller-Universitaet Jena) Antibiotics have revolutionized medicine by providing effective treatments for infectious diseases such as cholera. But the pathogens that cause disease are increasingly developing resistance ...

Mechanical forces of biofilms could play role in infections

The vast majority of bacteria in the world live on surfaces by forming structures called biofilms. These communities host thousands to millions of bacteria of different types, and are so biologically complex and active that ...

How the pandemic could reshape Edmonton's urban landscape

Pandemics, infectious diseases and urban planning have a long and intertwined history. Multiple episodes of the Black Death in the 14th century brought parks and open spaces to European cities. Cholera outbreaks in the 19th ...

Microbiome confers resistance to cholera

Cholera can kill within hours if left untreated, and it sickens as many as 4 million people a year. In a new article in the journal Cell, researchers describe how gut bacteria helps people resist the disease.

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Cholera, sometimes known as Asiatic or epidemic cholera, is an infectious gastroenteritis caused by enterotoxin-producing strains of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Transmission to humans occurs through eating food or drinking water contaminated with Vibrio cholerae from other cholera patients. The major reservoir for cholera was long assumed to be humans themselves, but considerable evidence exists that aquatic environments can serve as reservoirs of the bacteria.

Vibrio cholerae is a Gram-negative bacterium that produces cholera toxin, an enterotoxin, whose action on the mucosal epithelium lining of the small intestine is responsible for the disease's most salient characteristic, exhaustive diarrhea. In its most severe forms, cholera is one of the most rapidly fatal illnesses known, and a healthy person's blood pressure may drop to hypotensive levels within an hour of the onset of symptoms; infected patients may die within three hours if medical treatment is not provided. In a common scenario, the disease progresses from the first liquid stool to shock in 4 to 12 hours, with death following in 18 hours to several days, unless oral rehydration therapy is provided.

The majority of reported cholera cases worldwide occur in Africa. It is estimated that most cases of cholera are unreported due to poor surveillance systems, particularly in Africa. Fatality rates are 5% of total cases in Africa, and less than 1% elsewhere. For a map of recent international outbreaks, see:[3]

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