Scientific Name for Cholera
Vibrio cholerae is the scientific name for cholera. There are two general types of Vibro cholerae: Vibrio cholerae Serogroup O1 and Vibrio cholerae Serogroup non-O1. A person can get cholera by drinking water or eating food contaminated with Vibrio cholerae.
The scientific name for cholera is Vibrio cholerae. Vibrio cholerae is a type of bacteria; when an infection occurs, it can result in an acute, diarrheal illness that can lead to severe dehydration and even death within a matter of hours (cholera).
Vibrio cholerae are gram-negative rods (see Pictures of Cholera). They are facultatively anaerobic, which means they can survive either with or without oxygen.
There are two general types of Vibrio cholerae:
- Vibrio cholerae Serogroup non-O1
- Vibrio cholerae Serogroup O1.
In most cases, Vibrio cholerae Serogroup O1 is the type of Vibrio cholerae that causes cholera. Vibrio cholerae Serogroup O139, a Vibrio cholerae Serogroup non-O1 bacterium, is the other cause of cholera. There are about 70 other species of Vibrio cholerae Serogroup non-O1; these other species rarely cause diarrhea.
A person may get cholera by drinking water or eating food contaminated with Vibrio cholerae. The source of Vibrio cholerae contamination, during an epidemic, is usually the feces of an infected person. The disease can spread rapidly in areas with inadequate treatment of sewage and drinking water.
Vibrio cholerae may also live in the environment in brackish (saltwater) rivers and coastal waters. When eaten raw, shellfish have been a source of Vibrio cholerae, and a few people in the United States have contracted cholera after eating raw or undercooked shellfish from the Gulf of Mexico.
Because Vibrio cholerae is not likely to spread directly from one person to another, casual contact with an infected person is not a risk for becoming ill.
Once Vibrio cholerae is ingested, the bacteria travel to the small intestine where they begin to multiply. The main cause of watery diarrhea, a characteristic cholera symptom, is when the Vibrio cholerae begin to produce their toxins.
In order to develop symptoms of cholera, a person needs to ingest a lot of Vibrio cholerae. The amount needed is decreased in those taking antacids (or anyone who has just eaten a meal), when the acids in the stomach are neutralized.