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By William Coleman, Ph. D.

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It was documented by a staff member of the explorer Vasco da Gama that 20,000 men died of cholera in the early 1500s. Since 1817, researchers have documented cholera epidemics all across the world. A worldwide epidemic is called a pandemic. Transmission and Epidemiology of Cholera Other patterns of disease spread have also been observed for cholera. If the disease is present at a low, persistent level in a population, it is said to be endemic. The first cholera pandemic occurred as a result of wars between Persia and Turkey when soldiers were traveling between their native lands and would unknowingly carry the disease with them.

The reaction of antigens and antibodies is usually observed by mixing antigens and antibodies on slides and observing agglutination (clumping) due to the large antigen-antibody complexes that form and precipitate from solution. Now, the identification of the cholera bacillus is complete. Performing slide agglutination tests on the microbes isolated from the stool specimen by growth on TCBS agar can indicate the specific serotype found. This is particularly important for tracking a specific type of cholera bacillus during epidemics.

This is loss of skin turgor. This is most easily seen in healthy individuals who show loose skin over the abdomen. Wrinkling of the skin on the fingers is also commonly observed. Eyes often appear sunken as a result of loss of skin turgor, too. However, sunken eyes as a result of a loss of skin turgor may not be a sign of dehydration in starving children or in the elderly because that is also a sign of starvation. When the amount of lost fluid reaches more than 10 percent of the body weight, blood volume levels drop, specifically in the serum.

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