Ecology of Vibrio cholerae in the freshwater environs of Calcutta, India

Balakrish Nair, G. ; Sarkar, B. L. ; De, S. P. ; Chakrabarti, M. K. ; Bhadra, R. K. ; Pal, S. C. (1988) Ecology of Vibrio cholerae in the freshwater environs of Calcutta, India Microbial Ecology, 15 (2). pp. 203-215. ISSN 1432-184X

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Seasonal incidence ofVibrio cholerae was monitored for a year in a man-made freshwater lake, an open sewage canal, and a pond composed of rainwater accumulations, located in Calcutta.V. cholerae was found in all sites. It exhibited a distinct bimodal seasonal cycle in the lake with a primary peak in August-September and a secondary peak in May-June. Correlation with environmental parameters revealed that temperature and, to a certain extent, pH were the important factors governing the densities ofV. cholerae. In the lake, sediment samples harbored high densities ofV. cholerae immediately after months when peak counts were observed in plankton, suggesting a cycle of cells between sediment and water. At the other sampling areas, no defined seasonality was observed. Instead, high counts ofV. cholerae were observed at these severely polluted sites throughout the study period, including the winter months. All the 15 water samples passed via the ligated loop of rabbits yielded pure cultures ofV. cholerae, indicating that the rabbit intestine selects outV. cholerae from a mixed flora. Uniformly high isolation rates ofV. cholerae were observed from brackish water and freshwater species of export quality prawns.V. cholerae was found to be abundant and was represented by 32 individual Louisiana State University (LSU) serovars, including two new serovars. The 01 serovar could not be isolated from any of the samples examined in this study. It was concluded thatV. cholerae non-01 is common in the freshwater environs of Calcutta.

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