Dependent population dynamics between chironomids (nonbiting midges) and Vibrio cholerae

Malka Halpern, Dina Raats, Revital Lavion, Shacham Mittler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of cholera, is a natural inhabitant of the aquatic ecosystem. Chironomid (nonbiting midges) egg masses were recently found to harbour V. cholerae non-O1 and non-O139, providing a natural reservoir for the cholera bacterium. Chironomid populations and the presence of V. cholerae in chironomid egg masses were monitored. All V. cholerae isolates were able to degrade chironomid egg masses. The following virulence associated genes were detected in the bacterial isolates: hapA (100%), toxR (100%), hlyA (72%) and ompU (28%). The chironomid populations and the V. cholerae in their egg masses followed the phenological succession and interaction of host-pathogen population dynamics. A peak in the chironomid population was followed by a peak in the V. cholerae population. If such a connection is further substantiated for the pathogenic serogroups of V. cholerae in endemic areas of the disease, it may lead to a better understanding of the role of chironomids as a host for the cholera bacterium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-104
Number of pages7
JournalFEMS Microbiology Ecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Chironomid
  • Chironomus
  • Egg mass
  • Host
  • Population dynamics
  • Vibrio cholerae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Microbiology
  • Ecology


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