A new study from Italy has provided new insights into how the cholera bacteria work within the human body.
The study led by Dr Carla Pruzzo, Dr Luigi Vezzulli and Dr Rita R Colwell analysed the interaction of the bacteria with the environment that shed light on how organism causes disease.
The researchers focused their study over Vibrio cholerae, responsible for Cholera.
In the aquatic environment this bacteria interacts with chitin, a naturally occurring compound found in the cell walls of fungi, and in the exoskeleton of crustaceans and insects.
This interaction in the aquatic environment was found to play a large part in determining how the organism survives, how it is spread and how it infects humans.
"This knowledge provides a new framework for the understanding of the role of the non-human environment in affecting the spread of environmental disease-causing bacteria (pathogens), their evolutionary derivation and the way they infect humans to cause disease," said Dr Vezulli.
"This, in turn, can be applied to improve current approaches to risk assessments and epidemiology of infectious disease and to develop new responses for combating pathogens in the environment," he added.
The study is published in Environmental Microbiology.