Main content area

Molecular epidemiology of Vibrio cholerae associated with flood in Brahamputra River valley, Assam, India

Bhuyan, Soubhagya K., Vairale, Mohan G., Arya, Neha, Yadav, Priti, Veer, Vijay, Singh, Lokendra, Yadava, Pramod K., Kumar, Pramod
Infection, genetics, and evolution 2016 v.40 pp. 352-356
Vibrio cholerae, agar, antibiotic resistance, aquatic environment, bacteria, bile salts, cholera, cholera toxin, ciprofloxacin, diarrhea, disasters, disease outbreaks, drinking water, earthquakes, flood control, genes, molecular epidemiology, monitoring, monsoon season, multiple drug resistance, peptones, phenotype, rivers, sanitation, sucrose, tetracycline, thiosulfates, water pollution, wind, Haiti, India
Cholera is often caused when drinking water is contaminated through environmental sources. In recent years, the drastic cholera epidemics in Odisha (2007) and Haiti (2010) were associated with natural disasters (flood and Earthquake). Almost every year the state of Assam India witnesses flood in Brahamputra River valley during reversal of wind system (monsoon).This is often followed by outbreak of diarrheal diseases including cholera. Beside the incidence of cholera outbreaks, there is lack of experimental evidence for prevalence of the bacterium in aquatic environment and its association with cholera during/after flood in the state. A molecular surveillance during 2012–14 was carried out to study prevalence, strain differentiation, and clonality of Vibrio cholerae in inland aquatic reservoirs flooded by Brahamputra River in Assam. Water samples were collected, filtered, enriched in alkaline peptone water followed by selective culturing on thiosulfate bile salt sucrose agar. Environmental isolates were identified as V. cholerae, based on biochemical assays followed by sero-grouping and detailed molecular characterization.The incidence of the presence of the bacterium in potable water sources was higher after flood. Except one O1 isolate, all of the strains were broadly grouped under non-O1/non-O139 whereas some of them did have cholera toxin (CT). Surprisingly, we have noticed Haitian ctxB in two non-O1/non-O139 strains. MLST analyses based on pyrH, recA and rpoA genes revealed clonality in the environmental strains. The isolates showed varying degree of antimicrobial resistance including tetracycline and ciprofloxacin. The strains harbored the genetic elements SXT constins and integrons responsible for multidrug resistance. Genetic characterization is useful as phenotypic characters alone have proven to be unsatisfactory for strain discrimination. An assurance to safe drinking water, sanitation and monitoring of the aquatic reservoirs is of utmost importance for combating the impending epidemic threat in the flood affected areas. Further, the management of flood through multi-prong approaches and sustainable utilization of environmental resources would be effective in disease management.