Origin of El Tor in the Bay of Bengal

El Tor is a particular strain of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of cholera. It is also known as V. cholera biotype eltor, it has been the dominant strain in the seventh global pandemic. A recent study has found that this highly virulent and drug resistant form of cholera strain, originated from a notorious form which existed 40 years ago in the Bay of Bengal.

  • El Tor was first discovered in Bangladesh in 2006 and subsequently found in parts of Africa.
  • It is more dangerous than all its predecessors, with the power to kill more people and cause prolonged outbreaks.
  • These findings are of Indian, British and Korean scientists, who worked together to find origin of El Tor.
  • El Tor strain first became resistant to antibiotics in 1982, by acquiring the genetic region SXT. It entered the bacterium’s genome, initiating global transmission from the original source.



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