Cholera pp 107-127 | Cite as

The Ecology of Vibrio cholerae

  • Rita R. Colwell
  • William M. Spira
Part of the Current Topics in Infectious Disease book series (CTID)

Abstract

Until the late 1970s and early 1980s, Vibrio cholerae was believed to be highly host-adapted and incapable of surviving longer than a few hours or days outside the human intestine. This view, enunciated by Felsenfeld,1 was that “some authors claimed that cholera vibrios may survive in water, particularly seawater, for as long as 2 months. This is, however, scarcely possible under natural conditions if reinfection of the water does not take place.” This perspective of cholera ecology had dominated the literature since the organism was first identified by Robert Koch. Interestingly, Koch himself held a rather less stringent opinion:

There remains still the important question to be answered, whether the infectious material can reproduce or multiply itself outside the human body. I believe it can.... I would not certainly assume that multiplication... takes place in... river water without any assistance, for these fluids do not possess the concentration of nutritious substances which is necessary for the growth of the bacilli. But I can easily imagine that... some spots may contain sufficient concentrations of nutritive substances [for bacilli to flourish].2

Keywords

Nutrient Deprivation Vibrio Cholerae Cholera Outbreak Cholera Vibrio Vibrio Parahaemolyticus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rita R. Colwell
  • William M. Spira

There are no affiliations available

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