Atlas of foodborne infections
transmitted by contaminated food and water

Atlas of Patogens Contents Information sources Glossary Administration

Vibrio cholerae Serogroup Non-O1

CZ: vibrio

Fish and Fish Products
Water and Beverages
Meat and Meat Products


Foodborne Disease:
Untitled document

gastroenteritis - diarrhoea, abdominal cramps and fever; sometimes vomiting and nausea

Untitled document

This bacterium infects only humans and other primates. It is related to V. cholerae Serogroup O1 (which causes Asiatic or epidemic cholera), but causes a disease reported to be less severe than cholera. This organism has been referred to as non-cholera vibrio (NCV) and non-agglutinable vibrio (NAG) in the past, although at least 139 "O" serogroups have been identified.

Non-Ol V. cholerae gastroenteritis is the name associated with this illness. Although rare, septicemic infections have been reported and deaths have resulted. Some cases are similar to the primary septicemia caused by V. vulnificus.

Diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, and fever are the predominant symptoms associated with this illness, with vomiting and nausea occurring in approximately 25% of infected individuals. Approximately 25% of infected individuals will have blood and mucus in their stools.

Diarrhoea may, in some cases, be quite severe, lasting 6-7 days. Diarrhoea will usually occur within 48 hours following ingestion of the organism. It is unknown how the organism causes the illness, although an enterotoxin is suspected as well as an invasive mechanism. Disease is caused when the organism attaches itself to the small intestine of infected individuals and perhaps subsequently invades.

Consumption of raw, improperly cooked, re-contaminated shellfish may lead to infection. Diagnosis of a V. cholerae non-Ol infection is made by culturing the organism from an individual's diarrheic stool or from the blood of patients with septicemia. Diarrhoea resulting from ingestion of the organism usually lasts 7 days and is self-limiting. Antibiotics such as tetracycline shorten the severity and duration of the illness. Septicemia (bacteria gaining entry into the blood stream and multiplying therein) can occur. This complication is associated with individuals with cirrhosis of the liver, or who are immunosuppressed but this is relatively rare.

Vibrio species are indigenous marine halophilic (salt loving) or halotolerant organisms that are commonly isolated from estuarine and coastal environments. They are particularly prevalent in warm tropical waters and can be isolated in temperate zones during warm summer months.

Three species of Vibrio that dominate as food-borne pathogens are Vibrio parahaemolyticus, V. cholerae and V. vulnificus. Vibrio cholerae non-Ol is related to V. cholerae 01 (the organism that causes Asiatic or epidemic cholera), but causes a


Vibrio cholerae
Source: A magnified view of typical V. cholerae bacteria - scan microscopy
Vibrio cholerae
Source: A magnified view of V. cholerae bacteria - scan microscopy
Vibrio cholerae
Source: Modes of Vibrio cholerae transmission
Vibrio cholerae
Source: Rapid diagnostic test for V. cholerae infection
Vibrio cholerae
Source: Sources of infection
Vibrio cholerae
Source: Vibrio cholerae

<<< Back