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- Aerobic, Gram-negative, comma-shaped bacillus.
- Cary Blair media suggested for transport.
- Selective thiosulfate–citrate–bile salts agar (TCBS) best used for culture.
- Water-borne pathogen, humans usually acquire infection through ingesting contaminated water or food. Countries may have endemic infection (ongoing continuously often with spikes during rainy season) or epidemics.
- V. cholerae serogroup O1, biotype El Tor, originated in Asia but has caused infection (seventh cholera pandemic) throughout Africa and South America for ~43 yrs.
- Newer serogroup, O139 described in SE Asia in 1992 now endemic.
- Isolates described with resistance to ampicillin, tetracycline, ampicillin, aminoglycosides, sulfonamides, fluoroquinolones and trimethoprim.
- Non-01 V. cholerae strains (also water-borne, may be non-toxigenic) can rarely cause non-diarrheal illness such as bacteremia and wound infections especially in cirrhotics. Infections may be from fresh or brackish waters.