Vibrio cholerae-An emerging pathogen in Austrian bathing waters?

Carmen Rehm, Claudia Kolm, Sonja Pleininger, Florian Heger, Alexander Indra, Georg H Reischer, Andreas A H Farnleitner, Alexander K T Kirschner

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Review article


Vibrio cholerae, an important human pathogen, is naturally occurring in specific aquatic ecosystems. With very few exceptions, only the cholera-toxigenic strains belonging to the serogroups O1 and O139 are responsible for severe cholera outbreaks with epidemic or pandemic potential. All other nontoxigenic, non-O1/non-O139 V. cholerae (NTVC) strains may cause various other diseases, such as mild to severe infections of the ears, of the gastrointestinal and urinary tracts as well as wound and bloodstream infections. Older, immunocompromised people and patients with specific preconditions have an elevated risk. In recent years, worldwide reports demonstrated that NTVC infections are on the rise, caused amongst others by elevated water temperatures due to global warming.The aim of this review is to summarize the knowledge gained during the past two decades on V. cholerae infections and its occurrence in bathing waters in Austria, with a special focus on the lake Neusiedler See. We investigated whether NTVC infections have increased and which specific environmental conditions favor the occurrence of NTVC. We present an overview of state of the art methods that are currently available for clinical and environmental diagnostics. A preliminary public health risk assessment concerning NTVC infections related to the Neusiedler See was established. In order to raise awareness of healthcare professionals for NTVC infections, typical symptoms, possible treatment options and the antibiotic resistance status of Austrian NTVC isolates are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-608
Number of pages12
JournalWiener Klinische Wochenschrift. The Central European Journal of Medicine
Issue number21-22
Early online date02 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


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