The occurrence and distribution of Vibrio cholerae in sea water and plankton along the coast of Peru were studied from October 1997 to June 2000, and included the 1997-98 El Niño event. Samples were collected at four sites in coastal waters off Peru at monthly intervals. Of 178 samples collected and tested, V. cholerae O1 was cultured from 10 (5.6%) samples, and V. cholerae O1 was detected by direct fluorescent antibody assay in 26 out of 159 samples tested (16.4%). Based on the number of cholera cases reported in Peru from 1997 to 2000, a significant correlation was observed between cholera incidence and elevated sea surface temperature (SST) along the coast of Peru (P < 0.001). From the results of this study, coastal sea water and zooplankton are concluded to be a reservoir for V. cholerae in Peru. The climate-cholera relationship observed for the 1997-98 El Niño year suggests that an early warning system for cholera risk can be established for Peru and neighbouring Latin American countries.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics