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Medical Term:


Pronunciation: kol'er-a

Definition: An acute epidemic infectious disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. A soluble toxin elaborated in the intestinal tract by the bacterium activates the adenylate cylase of the mucosa, causing active secretion of an isotonic fluid resulting in profuse watery diarrhea, extreme loss of fluid and electrolytes, and dehydration and collapse, but no gross morphologic change in the intestinal mucosa.

Synonym(s): Asiatic cholera

[L. a bilious disease, fr. G. chole, bile]

© Copyright 2016 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.