The Survival of Pathogenic Strains of Vibrio eltor in the Environment

Original article


Mohammed A. A. Khadre

Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine , Unieersity of Al Fateh , Tripoli, S.P.L.A.J.

Al Fateh Med. J Vol .1, No. 1. January 1981:21-28


The present studies on the growth of Vibrio eltor pathogenic strains isolated from an outbreak in Aleppo, Syria indicate that this bacterium is unable to multiply in a LdS medium with a pH less than 5.5 or greater than 10. Optimum growth was obtained at pH 8-8.5 Water was found to be the best medium for preservation of viability of Vibrio eltor strains (a period of approximately 70 days survival in water adjusted to a pH of 6.5-9 at 20°C).
Several materials including metal coins, rubber, plastic gloves and glass cover slips were quite unfavorable for its survival. On the other hand, wood, cotton cloth, woollen cloth and synthetic cloth supported the survival of V. eltor for 7-11 days. Several types of paper allowed a 2-3 days survival period for V. eltor.
Of vegetables, tomatoes and potatoes allowed a 30-days survival period; green onions 29 days, spinach 27 days. Orange peel was unfavourable (0-2 days). Other vegetables tested allowed survival periods (5-7 days). The survival on various fabrics varied between 1 and 7 days, woollen fabrics being more favourable. Liquorice powder and wheat were favourable (at least for 15 days). Sugar, table salt, tea leaves, coffee powder and concentrated grape extract were unfavourable.
The epidemiological signficance of these results are discussed.
Vibrio eltor was first isolated by F. Gottschlich (1) in l906 from some pilgrims at Eltor quarantine station on the Sinai peninsula. In 1938, de Moor (2) reported a disease in the Celebes regarded as paracholera and caused by V. eltor. For the next 20 years, V. eltor only caused afew sporadic cases in surrounding countries. But, in the year 1961, V. eltor caused its first pandemic disease which spread to cover a wide area between the Pacific and the Mediterranean. Despite the fact that standards of hygiene and sanitation are increasing in developed countries, cholera has not yet been forced back to its original endemic focus in lower Pengal as originally foreseen by Craster (3) and Elkington (4).
In 1971, more than 100,000 cases in Africa and 70,000 in Asia mainly due to the eltor variety have been reported (5).
In view of the recent recurrent outbreaks of cholera disease we have isolated and studied several strains of V. eltor from the 1972 outbreak in Aleppo, Syria and this publication reports some of our findings concerning the survival of V. eltor in the environment.

Keywords: The Survival of Pathogenic Strains of Vibrio eltor in the Environment