A Mathematical Model for Vibrio Cholera Colonization in the Human Intestine

Anna Spagnuolo

ABSTRACT:  Vibrio cholera is a strict human pathogen that causes pandemic cholera.  It is an old-world pathogen that has re-emerged as a new threat since the early 1990s.  V. cholera colonizes the upper, small intestine where it produces a toxin that leads to the watery diarrhea, characterizing the disease.  Colonization dynamics of the bacteria are largely unknown.  Although a large initial infectious dose is required for infection, data suggests that only a smaller sub-population colonizes a portion of the small bowel leading to the disease.  There are many barriers to colonization in the intestines.  In this talk, I will elaborate on the dynamics of V. cholera infection by describing a mathematical model that governs the colonization process for the bacterial dynamics.