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June 10, 1974


Author Affiliations

University of Florida College of Medicine Gainesville

JAMA. 1974;228(11):1435. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230360059040

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Cholera, edited by Barua and Burrows, provides one of the most comprehensive and definitive reviews of the disease since Snow's classic work on cholera in the 19th century and Pollitzer's monograph in 1959. Although this disease has been a scourge of people throughout the world for centuries, understanding of its pathophysiology and management is very recent. Its occurrence has affected the course of history and has been influenced by improved standards of living. The dissection of its pathogenesis has contributed substantially to molecular biology. Cholera enterotoxin stimulation of cell-bound adenyl cyclase, leading to increased levels of cyclic adenosine monophosphate in cells, provides a tool for new studies of biochemical processes. As with diphtheria, cholera has emerged as a disease explainable not by miasma and mystery but by molecular processes. Cholera is important not only as a remarkable endemic, epidemic, and pandemic disease, but as a model of scientific understanding, with