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Detection of Vibrio cholerae in environmental waters including drinking water reservoirs of Azerbaijan

Authors

  • Ahmadov Rashid,

    1. Republican Anti Plague Station, Ministry of Health, Baku, Azerbaijan
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  • Bradd J. Haley,

    1. Maryland Pathogen Research Institute, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA
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  • Mukhtar Rajabov,

    1. Republican Anti Plague Station, Ministry of Health, Baku, Azerbaijan
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    • Contributed equally to the laboratory analyses.
  • Sevinj Ahmadova,

    1. Republican Anti Plague Station, Ministry of Health, Baku, Azerbaijan
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    • Contributed equally to the laboratory analyses.
  • Shair Gurbanov,

    1. Republican Anti Plague Station, Ministry of Health, Baku, Azerbaijan
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  • Rita R. Colwell,

    1. Maryland Pathogen Research Institute, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA
    2. Center of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, University of Maryland Institute of Advanced Computer Studies, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA
    3. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA
    4. CosmosID, College Park, MD, USA
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  • Anwar Huq

    Corresponding author
    1. Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health, School of Public Health, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA
    • Maryland Pathogen Research Institute, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA
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For correspondence. E-mail huq@umd.edu; Tel. (+1) 301 405 7428; Fax (+1) 301 314 1248.

Summary

Cholera, a globally prevalent gastrointestinal disease, remains a persistent problem in many countries including the former Soviet republics of the Caucasus region where sporadic outbreaks occurred recently. Historically, this region has experienced cholera during every pandemic since 1816; however, no known comprehensive evaluation of the presence of Vibrio cholerae in surface waters using molecular methods has been done. Here we present the first report of the presence of V. cholerae in surface waters of Azerbaijan and its seasonality, using a combination of bacteriological and molecular methods. Findings from the present study indicate a peak in the presence of V. cholerae in warmer summer months relative to colder winter months. In the Caspian Sea, water temperature when optimal for growth of V. cholerae was significantly associated with detection of V. cholerae. Vibrio cholerae was simultaneously detected at freshwater sites including two water reservoirs. Most importantly, detection of V. cholerae in these water reservoirs, the source of municipal drinking water, poses a potential health risk to the population due to the limited and insufficient treatment of water in Azerbaijan. Routine monitoring of environmental waters used for recreational purposes, and especially drinking water reservoirs, is highly recommended as a measure for public health safety.

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