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Cholera

  • 27 Jul 2022
  • 3 min read

Why in News?

Researchers identified the decline of antimicrobial resistance in Cholera-Causing Bacteria.

What are the Findings?

  • More than two hundred serogroups of Cholera bacterium are known, of which only O1 and O139 Genomes are known to cause such infection that leads to epidemics and pandemics.
    • Researchers studied the genome of O139 and traced the reason for its dying down after taking over from O1.
  • Two key genomic evolutionary changes took place in O139, the first related to the type of cholera toxin it produced and the second related to a loss of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).
  • Two main modifications were in the cholera toxin genes and in the Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) portfolio.
  • With the reduction in AMR capacity of O139, it potentially lost its competitive advantage against the O1.

What is Cholera?

  • About:
    • It is a life-threatening infectious disease and a public health hazard.
    • Cholera is an acute, diarrheal illness caused by infection of the intestine with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae.
    • The infection is often mild or without symptoms, but sometimes can be severe.
  • Symptoms:
    • Profuse watery diarrhoea
    • Vomiting
    • Leg cramps
  • Transmission:
    • A person may get cholera by drinking water or eating food contaminated with the cholera bacterium.
    • The disease can spread rapidly in areas with inadequate treatment of sewage and drinking water.
  • Vaccine:
    • Currently there are three WHO pre-qualified oral cholera vaccines (OCV), Dukoral, Shanchol, and Euvichol-Plus.
    • All three vaccines require two doses for full protection.

What are the Recommendations?

  • Continuous surveillance is necessary to monitor if any of the serotypes and serogroups are gaining antibiotic resistance over time and may become major outbreak lineages at any time.
  • To stay ahead of the curve and ensure best public health outcome, it is important that vaccines and treatments are regularly re-evaluated for efficiency to any newly evolving variants.

Source: TH

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