London: Scientists, who did a rapid genetic analysis of bacteria collected from Haitian patients, have concluded that the strain of cholera currently sweeping through post-earthquake Haiti originated in South Asia.
The HHMI, Harvard, and Pacific Biosciences team then compared the genome of the Haitian strain to the genomes of 23 other V. cholera strains from various parts of the world that were stored in the genetic data repository GenBank.Surprisingly, the Haiti strain bore the strongest resemblance to strains that are currently circulating in South Asia. Conversely, the Haitian strains differed significantly from the bacteria currently circulating in Latin America. Some cholera experts had suggested that endemic Latin American V. cholera – found in Peru and elsewhere – was the most likely source of the Haitian outbreak."The big conclusion is that the Haiti cholera epidemic is caused by a strain that was most likely introduced into Haiti from South Asia, and not from some strain that washed up environmentally from Latin America," Waldor said.The findings have been reported in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). ANI
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