Validation of a volunteer model of cholera with frozen bacteria as the challenge

Academic Article


  • To evaluate a standardized inoculum of Vibrio cholerae for volunteer challenge studies, 40 healthy adult volunteers were challenged at three different institutions with a standard inoculum prepared directly from vials of frozen, virulent, El Tor Inaba V. cholerae N16961, with no further incubation. Groups of 5 volunteers, with each group including 2 volunteers with blood group O, were given a dose of 105 CFU, and 34 of the 40 volunteers developed diarrhea (mean incubation time, 28 h). Transient fevers occurred in 15 (37.5%) of the volunteers. V. cholerae was excreted by 36 of 40 volunteers. Five additional volunteers received 104 CFU, and four developed diarrhea but with a lower average purging rate than required for the model. Of the 40 volunteers, 37 developed rises in their vibriocidal and antitoxin titers similar to those in previous groups challenged with freshly harvested bacteria. We conclude that challenge with frozen bacteria results in a reproducible illness similar to that induced by freshly harvested bacteria. Use of this model should minimize differences in attack rates or severity when groups are challenged at different times and in different institutions.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Sack DA; Tacket CO; Cohen MB; Sack RB; Losonsky GA; Shimko J; Nataro JP; Edelman R; Levine MM; Giannella RA
  • Start Page

  • 1968
  • End Page

  • 1972
  • Volume

  • 66
  • Issue

  • 5