Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Non-O1 Vibrio cholerae unlinked to cholera in Haiti

John J. Mekalanos, William Robins, David W. Ussery, Brigid M. Davis, Eric Schadt, and Matthew K. Waldor, PNAS October 11, 2012 Beginning with the observations of John Snow, many formal epidemiologic and molecular studies have corroborated the idea that cholera toxin-producing Vibrio cholerae (the agent of cholera) can move great distances via human activity.  Recently “shoe leather”-based epidemiologic and whole genome-based molecular approaches have provided compelling evidence that the devastating ongoing cholera epidemic in Haiti was caused by a toxigenic strain of V. cholerae O1 that was inadvertently introduced into Haiti by United Nations (UN) security forces from Nepal, a South Asian country that suffered cholera outbreaks only weeks before the UN troops’ deployment (1–4).  Hence, we were shocked to read the statement that “. . .assignment of attribution [for cholera in Haiti] remains controversial. . .” in the recent article, “Genomic diversity of 2010 Haiti cholera outbreak strains” by Colwell […]

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