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Disease EcologyCommunity structure and pathogen dynamics$
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Sharon K. Collinge and Chris Ray

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198567080

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198567080.001.0001

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The community ecology of Vibrio cholerae

The community ecology of Vibrio cholerae

(p.105) chapter 8 The community ecology of Vibrio cholerae
Disease Ecology

Kathryn L. Cottingham

Julia M. Butzler

Oxford University Press

Vibrio cholerae, the causal agent of cholera, is a heterotrophic bacterium found in aquatic environments around the world. Although understanding the ecology of V. cholerae is still in its infancy, community interactions likely play a key role in determining its abundance and disease outbreaks. For example, V. cholerae occurs both in a free-living state and when attached to phytoplankton, zooplankton, and benthic invertebrates. Parasitic or mutualistic interactions with host organisms influence bacterial survival in adverse conditions and have major effects on transmission to humans. Abundances can also be altered directly via interactions with predators and competitors, or indirectly if higher trophic levels alter the density or composition of predators or potential hosts for attachment. Thus, this system illustrates the importance of both direct and indirect biotic interactions for disease dynamics.

Keywords:   cholera, phytoplankton, zooplankton, benthic, parasite, mutualist, predator, competitor, aquatic, community

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