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Vibrio Cholera

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Vibrio Cholera, Cholera, Vibrio Cholerae

  • History
  1. Famous role in public health history
  2. Yemen as of 2016-2017 has the largest Cholera outbreak in history
  3. London Physician John Snow (1813-1858)
    1. Linked Cholera outbreak to Broad Street Pump in 1854
    2. Proved Cholera to be a Waterborne Illness
    3. Snow was also a proponent of anesthesia in childbirth
    4. Knighted by Queen Victoria on birth of seventh child
  • Pathophysiology
  1. Incubation: 4 hours to 5 days (average 1-2 days)
  2. Causes Toxigenic, Secretory Diarrhea
    1. Enterotoxin adheres to intestinal epithelial cell
    2. Fluid loss occurs in Small Bowel
    3. Large Intestine is overwhelmed by large fluid volume
    4. Unable to reabsorb majority of fluid losses
  3. Organism survival
    1. Not viable in pure water (stable in salt water)
    2. Survives up to 24 hours in sewerage
    3. Survives in impure water with organics for 6 weeks
    4. Withstands freezing for 3-4 days
    5. Readily killed by drying, heat, or disinfectants
  • Transmission
  1. Large infectious dose needed to cause disease
  2. Fecal contamination of food or water
    1. Waterborne Illness
    2. Foodborne Illness
  3. Heavily soiled hands or utensils
  4. Biological Weapon
    1. Infective aerosol dose: 10-500 organisms
  • Symptoms
  1. Asymptomatic to severe sudden onset
    1. Only 1 symptomatic patient for every 400 infected
  2. Vomiting
  3. Headache
  4. Intestinal cramping
  5. Low grade fever or afebrile
  6. Painless voluminous Diarrhea
    1. Rice water stools
  7. Fluid losses: 5-10 liters per day (up to 15 liters per day)
  • Signs
  1. Dehydration
  2. Hypovolemia to shock
  • Course
  1. Usual duration: 1 week
  2. Death may occur due to severe dehydration if untreated
    1. Mortality rates approach 50% from dehydration without aggressive Fluid Replacement
    2. Mortality 0.2% with aggressive rehydration (see below)
  • Labs
  1. Stool microscopy
    1. No or minimal Fecal Occult Blood
    2. No or minimal Fecal Leukocytes
    3. Darting, motile short curved Gram Negative Rods
  2. Darkfield microscopy
  3. Phase contrast microscopy
  • Management
  • Fluid and electrolyte replacement
  1. See Oral Rehydration Therapy
  2. Aggressive fluid and electrolyte replacement is the key to effective management (drops mortality from 50% to 0.2%)
  3. Lactated Ringers is preferred crystalloid if IV hydration is required
  4. Replace electrolytes (e.g. Potassium)
  • Management
  • Antibiotics
  1. Indication: Moderate to severe disease
    1. May shorten the duration of Diarrhea
    2. Reduces Bacterial shedding
  2. Adult Preparations
    1. Tetracycline 500 mg four times daily for 3 days
    2. Doxycycline 300 mg x1 dose or 100 mg bid for 3 days
    3. Azithromycin 500 mg orally daily for 3 days (or 1 g for 1 dose)
    4. Erythromycin 250 mg orally three times daily for 3 days
    5. Ciprofloxacin 1 g orally for 1 dose
  3. Child Preparations
    1. Azithromycin 10 mg/kg/day orally daily for 3 days
    2. Erythromycin 30 mg/kg/day orally divided three times daily for 3 days
  4. References
    1. Gilbert (2016) Sanford Guide, accessed 9/12/2016
  • Prevention
  1. Water Disinfection
    1. Dry heat at 117 degrees C (steam or boiling)
    2. Short exposure to disinfectants
    3. Water chlorination
  2. Good Hygiene
    1. Frequent hand washing
    2. Exclusive use of safe water and food
  3. Licensed killed Cholera Vaccine
    1. Indicated during epidemics
    2. Efficacy: 50-86% protection lasts only 6 months
    3. Vaccine schedule
      1. Initial Doses: 0 and 4 weeks
      2. Booster Doses: every 6 months
    4. References
      1. Luquero (2014) N Engl J Med 370(22): 2111-20 +PMID: 24869721 [PubMed]
  • Prognosis
  • Indicators of severe disease and worse outcomes
  1. Difficult access to medical services
  2. Blood Type O (45% of U.S. persons)
  3. Low gastric acidity
    1. Antacid therapy
    2. Partial gastrectomy