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[Microbiology] Re: a question about vibrio cholerae

JEDilworth bactitech at nospamhortonsbay.com
Thu Sep 14 23:03:44 EST 2006

Isolating Vibrios is basic medical microbiology. Like Tom Knight said, if 
you're not familiar with the genus, you have some serious reading and media 
making to do.

What types of specimens are you using to isolate this organism? I have 
worked in microbiology for nearly 30 years and have only heard of this bug 
being isolated in our area (not an endemic area by any means) once in thirty 
years. If you're in Indiana your climate is similar to mine, as I'm in Ohio. 
You would need fecal specimens from outbreak or endemic areas.

There are other Vibrios around also (V. parahemolytics and V. vulnificus).


Vibrio usually occurs in areas where there is salt water. You need special 
media, TCBS, to isolate it out of feces, assuming you even HAVE fecal 
specimens that have it.


All CAP accredited laboratories are required to have this media available if 
the doctor is suspicious of a patient contracting Vibrios.

In 2004, the CDC only had EIGHT isolates in the US.


Half of the patients acquired this bug overseas. The others got it from 
eating oysters in Georgia and Alabama. One third of the patients from 
overseas died of their illness.

I certainly hope you know what type of pathogen you're working with when you 
mess with this bug. V. cholerae causes death by MASSIVE dehydration - most 
of your bodily fluids just come out of your anus. They measure this by 
putting patients on cholera cots (rubber cots with holes underneath to catch 
the diarrhea in buckets so they can measure it) and try to infuse you as 
fast as it's coming out. You essentially die of shock. I saw a film of an 
Indian outbreak back in 1970 when I took a pathogenic microbiology course in 
college. It's images were horrifying. People literally dried up. They could 
grab a handful of skin from their abdomen and it would just stand up and 
slowly sink back down, as there was no fluid in the cells.

I've worked in clinical micro for nearly thirty years and wouldn't 
particularly want to work with this bug. Messing with it casually in a 
college laboratory is asking for trouble - sorry. Hopefully you have 
biosafety cabinets to work under, and you wear gowns and gloves when working 
with this.

Judy Dilworth, M.T. (ASCP)

"h pardis2006" <h_pardis2006 at yahoo.com> wrote in message 
news:mailman.1013.1158150749.20007.microbio at net.bio.net...
> hi
>  im looking for some help. we are working on isolation and identification 
> and biochemical characterization of Vibrio cholera . we would approciate 
> any comment . thanks alot in advance .

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