In DepthEpidemiology

Genomes rewrite cholera's global story

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Science  10 Nov 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6364, pp. 706-707
DOI: 10.1126/science.358.6364.706

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By sequencing and comparing hundreds of bacterial genomes, researchers have shown that all of the explosive epidemics of cholera in Africa and the Americas in the past half-century arose after the arrival of new strains that had evolved in Asia. The work, published in two Science papers this week, could put to rest an old debate about the role of environmental factors in cholera’s global burden. It could also have a big impact on the fight against the disease, because it allows public health officials to concentrate their efforts on the imported strains that are likely to be the most dangerous.