Occurrence and distribution of Vibrio cholerae in the coastal environment of Peru

Authors

  • Ana I. Gil,

    1. Instituto de Investigación Nutricional (IIN), Av. La Universidad 685, La Molina, Lima 18, Peru.
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  • Valérie R. Louis,

    1. Center of Marine Biotechnology, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, 701 E. Pratt Street, Suite 236, Baltimore, MD 21202, USA.
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  • Irma N. G. Rivera,

    1. Center of Marine Biotechnology, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, 701 E. Pratt Street, Suite 236, Baltimore, MD 21202, USA.
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    • Microbiology Department, ICB-USP, 1374, Lineu Prestes Avenue – Edif. ICB II, University of São Paulo, CEP 05508-900, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.

  • Erin Lipp,

    1. Center of Marine Biotechnology, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, 701 E. Pratt Street, Suite 236, Baltimore, MD 21202, USA.
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    • Department of Environmental Health Science, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA.

  • Anwar Huq,

    1. Center of Marine Biotechnology, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, 701 E. Pratt Street, Suite 236, Baltimore, MD 21202, USA.
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  • Claudio F. Lanata,

    1. Instituto de Investigación Nutricional (IIN), Av. La Universidad 685, La Molina, Lima 18, Peru.
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  • David N. Taylor,

    1. NAMRID, Naval Medical Research Center Detachment Unit 3800, Centro Medico Naval, Lima, Peru.
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    • §

      Vaccine Testing Unit, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.

  • Estelle Russek-Cohen,

    1. Department of Animal Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.
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  • Nipa Choopun,

    1. Center of Marine Biotechnology, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, 701 E. Pratt Street, Suite 236, Baltimore, MD 21202, USA.
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  • R. Bradley Sack,

    1. Johns Hopkins University, Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
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  • Rita R. Colwell

    Corresponding author
    1. Center of Marine Biotechnology, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, 701 E. Pratt Street, Suite 236, Baltimore, MD 21202, USA.
    2. Institute for Advanced Computer Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.
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*the Center of Marine Biotechnology. E-mail colwell@umbi.umd.edu; Tel. (+1) 301 405 9550; Fax (+1) 301 314 6654.

Summary

The occurrence and distribution of Vibrio cholerae in sea water and plankton along the coast of Peru were studied from October 1997 to June 2000, and included the 1997–98 El Niño event. Samples were collected at four sites in coastal waters off Peru at monthly intervals. Of 178 samples collected and tested, V. cholerae O1 was cultured from 10 (5.6%) samples, and V. cholerae O1 was detected by direct fluorescent antibody assay in 26 out of 159 samples tested (16.4%). Based on the number of cholera cases reported in Peru from 1997 to 2000, a significant correlation was observed between cholera incidence and elevated sea surface temperature (SST) along the coast of Peru (< 0.001). From the results of this study, coastal sea water and zooplankton are concluded to be a reservoir for V. cholerae in Peru. The climate–cholera relationship observed for the 1997–98 El Niño year suggests that an early warning system for cholera risk can be established for Peru and neighbouring Latin American countries.

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