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Cholera outbreaks in Africa.
Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2014; 379:117-44.CT

Abstract

During the current seventh cholera pandemic, Africa bore the major brunt of global disease burden. More than 40 years after its resurgence in Africa in 1970, cholera remains a grave public health problem, characterized by large disease burden, frequent outbreaks, persistent endemicity, and high CFRs, particularly in the region of the central African Great Lakes which might act as reservoirs for cholera. There, cases occur year round with a rise in incidence during the rainy season. Elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa, cholera occurs mostly in outbreaks of varying size with a constant threat of widespread epidemics. Between 1970 and 2011, African countries reported 3,221,050 suspected cholera cases to the World Health Organization, representing 46 % of all cases reported globally. Excluding the Haitian epidemic, sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 86 % of reported cases and 99 % of deaths worldwide in 2011. The number of cholera cases is possibly much higher than what is reported to the WHO due to the variation in modalities, completeness, and case definition of national cholera data. One source on country specific incidence rates for Africa, adjusting for underreporting, estimates 1,341,080 cases and 160,930 deaths (52.6 % of 2,548,227 estimated cases and 79.6 % of 209,216 estimated deaths worldwide). Another estimates 1,411,453 cases and 53,632 deaths per year, respectively (50 % of 2,836,669 estimated cases and 58.6 % of 91,490 estimated deaths worldwide). Within Africa, half of all cases between 1970 and 2011 were notified from only seven countries: Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Nigeria, Somalia, Tanzania, and South Africa. In contrast to a global trend of decreasing case fatality ratios (CFRs), CFRs have remained stable in Africa at approximately 2 %. Early propagation of cholera outbreaks depends largely on the extent of individual bacterial shedding, host and organism characteristics, the likelihood of people coming into contact with an infectious dose of Vibrio cholerae and on the virulence of the implicated strain. Cholera transmission can then be amplified by several factors including contamination of human water- or food sources; climate and extreme weather events; political and economic crises; high population density combined with poor quality informal housing and poor hygiene practices; spread beyond a local community through human travel and animals, e.g., water birds. At an individual level, cholera risk may increase with decreasing immunity and hypochlorhydria, such as that induced by Helicobacter pylori infection, which is endemic in much of Africa, and may increase individual susceptibility and cholera incidence. Since contaminated water is the main vehicle for the spread of cholera, the obvious long-term solution to eradicate the disease is the provision of safe water to all African populations. This requires considerable human and financial resources and time. In the short and medium term, vaccination may help to prevent and control the spread of cholera outbreaks. Regardless of the intervention, further understanding of cholera biology and epidemiology is essential to identify populations and areas at increased risk and thus ensure the most efficient use of scarce resources for the prevention and control of cholera.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Agence de Médecine Préventive, 164 rue de Vaugirard, 75015, Paris, France, mmengel@aamp.org.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

24827501

Citation

Mengel, Martin A., et al. "Cholera Outbreaks in Africa." Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology, vol. 379, 2014, pp. 117-44.
Mengel MA, Delrieu I, Heyerdahl L, et al. Cholera outbreaks in Africa. Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2014;379:117-44.
Mengel, M. A., Delrieu, I., Heyerdahl, L., & Gessner, B. D. (2014). Cholera outbreaks in Africa. Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology, 379, 117-44. https://doi.org/10.1007/82_2014_369
Mengel MA, et al. Cholera Outbreaks in Africa. Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2014;379:117-44. PubMed PMID: 24827501.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Cholera outbreaks in Africa. AU - Mengel,Martin A, AU - Delrieu,Isabelle, AU - Heyerdahl,Leonard, AU - Gessner,Bradford D, PY - 2014/5/16/entrez PY - 2014/5/16/pubmed PY - 2014/11/11/medline SP - 117 EP - 44 JF - Current topics in microbiology and immunology JO - Curr. Top. Microbiol. Immunol. VL - 379 N2 - During the current seventh cholera pandemic, Africa bore the major brunt of global disease burden. More than 40 years after its resurgence in Africa in 1970, cholera remains a grave public health problem, characterized by large disease burden, frequent outbreaks, persistent endemicity, and high CFRs, particularly in the region of the central African Great Lakes which might act as reservoirs for cholera. There, cases occur year round with a rise in incidence during the rainy season. Elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa, cholera occurs mostly in outbreaks of varying size with a constant threat of widespread epidemics. Between 1970 and 2011, African countries reported 3,221,050 suspected cholera cases to the World Health Organization, representing 46 % of all cases reported globally. Excluding the Haitian epidemic, sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 86 % of reported cases and 99 % of deaths worldwide in 2011. The number of cholera cases is possibly much higher than what is reported to the WHO due to the variation in modalities, completeness, and case definition of national cholera data. One source on country specific incidence rates for Africa, adjusting for underreporting, estimates 1,341,080 cases and 160,930 deaths (52.6 % of 2,548,227 estimated cases and 79.6 % of 209,216 estimated deaths worldwide). Another estimates 1,411,453 cases and 53,632 deaths per year, respectively (50 % of 2,836,669 estimated cases and 58.6 % of 91,490 estimated deaths worldwide). Within Africa, half of all cases between 1970 and 2011 were notified from only seven countries: Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Nigeria, Somalia, Tanzania, and South Africa. In contrast to a global trend of decreasing case fatality ratios (CFRs), CFRs have remained stable in Africa at approximately 2 %. Early propagation of cholera outbreaks depends largely on the extent of individual bacterial shedding, host and organism characteristics, the likelihood of people coming into contact with an infectious dose of Vibrio cholerae and on the virulence of the implicated strain. Cholera transmission can then be amplified by several factors including contamination of human water- or food sources; climate and extreme weather events; political and economic crises; high population density combined with poor quality informal housing and poor hygiene practices; spread beyond a local community through human travel and animals, e.g., water birds. At an individual level, cholera risk may increase with decreasing immunity and hypochlorhydria, such as that induced by Helicobacter pylori infection, which is endemic in much of Africa, and may increase individual susceptibility and cholera incidence. Since contaminated water is the main vehicle for the spread of cholera, the obvious long-term solution to eradicate the disease is the provision of safe water to all African populations. This requires considerable human and financial resources and time. In the short and medium term, vaccination may help to prevent and control the spread of cholera outbreaks. Regardless of the intervention, further understanding of cholera biology and epidemiology is essential to identify populations and areas at increased risk and thus ensure the most efficient use of scarce resources for the prevention and control of cholera. SN - 0070-217X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/24827501/Cholera_outbreaks_in_Africa_ L2 - https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/82_2014_369 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -