In this week's Science, an international research team reports the use of genomic data to track the course of the current — and seventh — cholera pandemic throughout heavily affected Africa. Using genomic data from 1,070 Vibrio cholerae O1 isolates across 45 African countries and over a 49-year period, the investigators show that past epidemics could be attributed to a single expanded lineage. This lineage, they note, was introduced at least 11 times since 1970 into two main regions — West Africa and East/Southern Africa — causing epidemics that lasted up to 28 years. Notably, the last five introductions of the bacteria into Africa were all from Asia and involved multidrug-resistant sublineages that replaced antibiotic-susceptible sublineages after 2000. The findings, the study's authors state, may help "gauge the impact of interventions on future patterns of disease in this region." GenomeWeb has more on this and a related study, here.
This Week in Science: Nov 10, 2017
Nov 10, 2017