Background In Bangladesh, cholera is endemic and maintains a regular seasonal pattern. The role of phytoplankton in maintaining endemicity and seasonality of cholera was monitored in Matlab, Bangladesh. Methods Phytoplankton and water samples were collected from two ponds bi-weekly for 1 year. The association of Vibrio cholerae O1 with phytoplankton was studied by culture and direct fluorescent antibody techniques. The bio-physicochemical parameters of water were measured and data for cases of cholera were collected from the records of Matlab hospital. The correlation of cholera cases with levels of phytoplankton, V. cholerae and bio-physicochemical parameters of water was carried out using Pearson's correlation coefficients. Results V. cholerae O1 survived for 48 days in association with Anabaena variabilis in a culturable state, but survived for a year in a viable but non-culturable (VBNC) state. V. cholerae survived for 12 and 32 days in a culturable state in control water (without algae) and water with algae, respectively. There was a significant correlation between changing levels of cholera cases in the community and the blue green algae and total phytoplankton in the aquatic environment. A significant correlation was also found between the cholera cases and chlorophyll-a and VBNC V. cholerae O1 in the aquatic environment. Conclusions This study demonstrated the role of phytoplankton in maintaining endemicity and seasonality of cholera in Bangladesh.
|Journal||Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene|
|Early online date||14 Jul 2015|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2015|