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Fish may provide key to stopping disease spread, researcher says

Jeff Withey, Ph.D., assistant professor of immunology and microbiology in WSU's School of Medicine, recently received two grants from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, to use zebrafish to study the spread of cholera and characterize signals that induce the disease in humans.

Cholera, which has been studied for nearly 150 years, strikes about 5 million people annually, causing 100,000 deaths. It's caused by the ingestion of the Vibrio cholerae bacteria (V. cholerae), usually through drinking untreated water. V. cholerae occurs naturally in the environment and normally doesn't cause problems unless consumed by humans, when it then colonizes the upper small intestine.

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