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The Role of Vibrio cholerae Genotyping in Africa

Toxigenic Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of the disease cholera, is prevalent in the African continent from the 1970s when the seventh pandemic spread from Asia to Africa. In the past decade, cholera has caused devastating outbreaks in much of Africa, illustrated by the recent cholera epidemics in Zimbabwe and regions of central Africa. Given the extent of cholera in Africa, a robust and efficient surveillance system should be in place to prevent and control the disease in this continent. Such a surveillance system would be greatly bolstered by use of molecular typing techniques to identify genetic subtypes. In this review, we highlight the role that modern molecular typing techniques can play in tracking and aborting the spread of cholera.
Keywords. Africa; cholera; genotyping; surveillance; Vibrio cholerae.