Cholera on Guam, 1974: Epidemiologic Findings and Isolation of Non-Toxinogenic Strains

Am J Epidemiol. 1977 Apr;105(4):349-61. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a112393.


In August 1974, six cases of cholera occurred on Guam. The index case had severe diarrhea and metabolic acidosis and died from pneumonia on the ninth day of illness; the other five cases had only mild to moderate diarrhea. Fish caught in Agana Bay and home-preserved was found to be the vehicle most likely responsible for the cases. Vibrio cholerae, El Tor Ogawa, was isolated from two patients, the Guam sewerage system, and a river emptying into Agana Bay. V. cholerae, El Tor Inaba, was isolated from the sewerage system, three storm drains imptying into Agana Bay, and Agana Bay. The Ogawa and Inaba isolates differed in their sucrose fermentation and hemolysis reactions, phage type and ability to produce toxin. Although this was the first reported cholera outbreak on Guam, the isolation of differentV. cholerae strains suggested that multiple introductions of V. cholerae had occurred on the island.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cholera / epidemiology*
  • Cholera / transmission
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Fish Products*
  • Food Microbiology
  • Guam
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Vibrio cholerae / isolation & purification
  • Water Pollution