Navigation Links
TGen and DTU researchers track source of Haitian cholera outbreak
Date:8/23/2011

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. Aug. 23, 2011 Employing technology that reads the entire DNA code, researchers led by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) have pinpointed the source of a cholera outbreak in Haiti that killed more than 6,000 people and sickened 300,000.

Using whole genome sequencing, which spells out the billions of chemical bases in DNA, TGen and DTU provided the strongest evidence yet that peacekeepers from Nepal, where cholera is widespread, brought the disease to Haiti, which already was reeling from a devastating earthquake in January 2010 that killed more than 300,000.

In a study titled "Population genetics of Vibrio Cholerae from Nepal: An identical clone in Nepal and the Haitian outbreak," researchers confirm the source of the cholera, and suggest how to prevent future outbreaks when international aid is rushed to disaster areas.

The study appears Tuesday August 23rd in mBio, a new online-only, open-access journal published by the American Society of Microbiology in partnership with the American Academy of Microbiology.

"The great similarity of Haitian cholera with Nepalese cholera is based upon the highest resolution DNA methods available, and point to a probable source of this devastating disease outbreak," said Dr. Paul Keim, Director of the TGen Pathogen Genomics Division and senior molecular biologist on the study. Dr. Keim assisted the FBI in tracking down the source of the 2001 anthrax letters case, which killed five people. He said similar genetic tracking techniques were used in investigating the Haitian cholera outbreak.

According to Dr. Keim, methods pioneered during the anthrax letter forensic investigation and today's greatly diminished costs for whole genome sequencing make it possible to apply this powerful technology to new and critical public health challenges. Dr. Keim is a Regents Professor at Northern Arizona University (NAU), whose Center for Microbial Genetics and Genomics also contributed to the study.

Dr. Keim praised TGen's collaborators at the National Public Health Laboratory in Nepal, and at the National Food Institute in Denmark, where the study's senior author, Dr. Frank M. Aarestrup, is head of the Antimicrobial Resistance and Molecular Epidemiology Unit.

"This study highlights how rapidly infectious diseases might be transmitted globally through international travel, and how public health officials need to use advanced molecular tools, along with standard epidemiological analyses, to quickly and accurately determine sources of outbreaks," said Dr. Aarestrup, who also is head of both the World Health Organization's Collaborating Centre for Antimicrobial Resistance among Foodborne Pathogens and of the European Union (EU) Reference Laboratory for Antimicrobial Resistance.

Dr. Lance Price, an associate professor at TGen and co-author of the new study, said the investigation into the source of Haitian cholera could help prevent such outbreaks in the future.

"This effort validates the power of advanced molecular tools in investigating outbreaks of this nature," Dr. Price said. "The goal now should be finding ways to prevent such outbreaks, perhaps through screening prior to deployment. This study is not about placing blame, it's about preventing such disasters in the future."

Researchers confirmed the source of the outbreak by comparing the DNA of 24 cholera samples (the bacterium Vibrio cholera) from five different districts in Nepal with 10 samples of cholera from Haiti. All 24 samples from Nepal matched the samples from Haiti. Some of the samples, the report said, "were almost identical."

Dr. Price said the TGen findings makes a very strong case for the source of the cholera, and aligns with a recent report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which said "evidence strongly suggests" that the Nepalese soldiers were the source of the outbreak. The CDC study was based on the fact that the first cholera infections in Haiti were downstream from the Nepalese, and occurred shortly after the soldiers' arrival.

"Our studies are complementary and together make a definitive case for a Nepalese origin to the outbreak," Dr. Price said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Steve Yozwiak
syozwiak@tgen.org
602-343-8704
The Translational Genomics Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. UH researchers explore treatments for breast and colon cancers
2. Not so fast -- researchers find that lasting evolutionary change takes about 1 million years
3. Joslin researchers identify new target for treatment of type 2 diabetes and prediabetes
4. Southampton researchers awarded $28 million to progress pioneering nutrition and respiratory research
5. Researchers on the trail of a treatment for cancer of the immune system
6. SUNY Downstate researchers identify possible new targets for treating pain in women
7. Researchers investigate muscle-building effect of protein beverages for athletes
8. NYU Langone researchers reveal a new mechanism of genomic instability
9. Researchers complete first major survey of amphibian fungus in Asia
10. Researchers find new hope for treatment of chronic leukemia
11. Researchers find way to align gold nanorods on a large scale
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/22/2016)... , PROVO and ... Newborn Screening Ontario (NSO), which operates the highest sample ... molecular testing, and Tute Genomics and UNIConnect, leaders in ... respectively, today announced the launch of a project to ... (NGS) testing panel. NSO has been ...
(Date:3/17/2016)... , March 17, 2016 ABI ... intelligence, forecasts the global biometrics market will reach ... impressive 118% increase from 2015. Consumer electronics, particularly ... embedded fingerprint sensors anticipated to reach two billion ... Dimitrios Pavlakis , Research Analyst at ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... March 14, 2016 NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" ... commerce market, announces the airing of a new series of ... week of March 21 st .  The commercials will air ... popular Squawk on the Street show. --> NXTD ... growing mobile commerce market, announces the airing of a new ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... , May 23, 2016 Oxitec CEO ... th at 10:15 a.m. ET before the United States ... genetically engineered mosquitos can play in controlling the spread of ... the Zika virus.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150630/227348 ... mosquito with a self-limiting gene. Trials in Brazil ...
(Date:5/22/2016)... ... ... Doctors in Rome say micronutrients found in certain foods have the potential to ... posted an article on the new research. Click here to read it now. ... Medicine evaluated more than 150 studies on polyphenols in cancer for their report recently ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 20, 2016 , ... The recent ... Listeria, as reported by Food Safety News on May 12, 2016(1), demonstrates the need ... Ted Olsen, CEO of Baltimore-based biotech firm, PathSensors, Inc. , PathSensor’s ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... , ... May 19, 2016 , ... ... organization (CRO) has welcomed Abu Siddiqui as Director, Large Molecule & Biomarker Bioanalysis. ... biologics, vaccine and translational biomarker discovery studies for preclinical and clinical safety programs. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: