Vibrio cholerae, the Human Immune System, and Vaccines Essay

Vibrio cholerae, the Human Immune System, and Vaccines Essay

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Vibrio cholerae, the Human Immune System, and Vaccines

Cholera remains a drastically severe disease, killing hundreds of people each outbreak. When ingested, it attaches to the mucosal lining of the intestines and disrupts the normal flow of ions so that there is more sodium, chloride, and water in the intestinal lumen than normal and results in massive diarrhea. Cholera has made a global impact and been endemic in almost all parts of the world. Cholera control strongly emphasizes sanitation, clean drinking water, isolation, and careful food preparation. Two ways our body works against cholera as a self-limiting disease are sloughing cells and the secretory immunoglobulin (sIgA) antibody produced by mucus throughout our body. There are currently three types of available vaccines: parenteral, whole killed V. cholerae O1 added with a recombinant part of one of cholera toxin’s subunits (WC/rBS), and another one based on genetically manipulated V. cholerae CVD103-HgR. Research on finding a safe, effective vaccine continues today in order to stop such a distructive disease.

Cholera, a devastating epidemic disease, has been around for hundreds of years and now annually kills 120,000 people worldwide (Weekly Epidemiological Record, 6). It is acquired by consuming water contaminated with feces or ingesting food that has been washed with contaminated water. Cholera is caused by a gram-negative, rod shaped bacterium called Vibrio cholerae which can be further classified into two separate biotypes (El Tor and classical) and multiple other serotypes.
Once inside the body, V. cholerae attaches and adapts itself to the mucosal epithelial lining of the intestines then produces an exotoxin, cholera toxin (CT), which disrupts the norma...

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...e cholera pandemics, and gained much knowledge from each one, but it still manages to persist in the environment and continues to be a huge issue. Unfortunately, many developing countries still have inadequate water supplies and sanitation but there is not much that can be done. Many mysteries remain unanswered and so the search for a safe and effective cholera vaccine continues on.


Drasar, B.S., B.D. Forrest. Cholera and the Ecology of Vibrio cholerae. London:
Chapman & Hall, 1996.
Salyers A., Abigail, Dixie D. Whitt. Bacterial Pathogenesis: A molecular approach. Washington D.C.:
American Society for Microbiology, 1994
Weekly Epidemiological Record No. 16. 2001. World Health Organization. July 25. 2007

World Health Organization. Guidelines for Cholera Control.
Geneva, 1993

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