Cholera reservoir study of waterbodies off Kochi begins

Researchers from India, U.K. and Japan part of project

Researchers are analysing water and other samples collected from waterbodies off Kochi to identify reservoirs of cholera pathogens in coastal waters.

Besides Kochi, analysis is being done in Chennai and Dhiga in West Bengal to identify the reservoirs. The study is part of a global research programme, Pathways for Dispersal for Cholera and Solution Tools, involving researchers from India, U.K. and Japan.

The Kochi regional centre of the National Institute of Oceanography, the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, the Nansen Environmental Research Centre India, Kochi, and the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, Hyderabad, are the partnering agencies from the country. The Plymouth Marine Laboratory, U.K., and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, are the other collaborators.

Samples including sediments and phytoplankton from waterbodies extending up to a depth of 50 metres are being collected from the Kochi coast for the identification of reservoirs.

The study attains significance in the wake of sporadic outbreak of the disease in the country and the plans of the World Health Organization to eradicate the disease by 2030.

Majority of the disease outbreaks are reported to have started in coastal regions from where they spread to inland areas. Coastal areas of India are prone to these waterborne diseases.

Besides the health impacts associated with the disease, the outbreak could often leave economic footprint. Seafood consignments from India were earlier banned after some reports of identification of the pathogen in some samples and the outbreak of the disease in States like Kerala, said a researcher associated with the project.

Scientists will look into the impact of climate change on cholera outbreaks and environmental transmission routes and attempt to produce forecasts for cholera outbreaks in coastal regions, the researcher said.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 9:23:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/cholera-reservoir-study-of-waterbodies-off-kochi-begins/article30333574.ece

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