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Genomics Pulled in to Tackle Haiti's Cholera

Scientists are trying to track the source of the cholera outbreak in Haiti, and now genomics has been thrown into the mix. The disease, which has killed more than 1,000 people in the country's Artibonite region, was traced back to "a single strain of Vibrio cholerae bacteria in specimens from 14 people" by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to this article in the Wall Street Journal.

While researchers say it's likely the actual source of the strain may never be found, the search is especially important as, the article notes, "many Haitians believe cholera was introduced into the country by United Nations troops."

Tests on the cholera strain continue and will include a genome sequence, WSJ adds, but cites CDC's Scott Dowell in noting that "very few cholera strains have been sequenced, giving the researchers little with which to compare this strain."