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Connection Between Cystic Fibrosis and Cholera


1. How would i explain to a family member with no science background about connection between cholera and cystic fibrosis?
A: Yes a connection between cholera and cystic fibrosis exists, cystic fibrosis decreases the incidence of cholera in diseased as compared to those who don't have cystic fibrosis. In cystic fibrosis, the innermost layer of gut and lungs is affected. There is a defect in the salts channels (pores) and salts can't come out of the lining cells and enter into the lumen of gut. we know that Salts have a tendency of bringing water along with them. In cystic fibrosis as these salt channels don't allow the movement of salts out of the cells, the concentration of salts in the lumen decreases, which in turn decreases the amount of water in the lumen. Cholera toxin affects by increasing the movement the salt out of the cells, As more salt enter into the lumen of the gut, it brings along more water with it which result in diarrhea. In individuals with cystic fibrosis, the salt channels are defected and cholera toxin can't stimulate these defected salt channels. Therefore, the patients who are affected by cystic fibrosis are protected from cholera.

2. Do you think there is a connection?
A: Yes a connection exists between cholera and cystic fibrosis
3. Why or Why not ? 
A: The connection between Cholera and Cystic fibrosis can be explained scientifically. Cholera toxin, stimulates the chloride channels, and increase amount of chloride ions come into the lumen, these negative chloride ions, bring sodium ions with them and increased concentration of salts in the lumen decreases the concentration of water and this results in passive diffusion of water out of the cells which results in severe diarrhea. In cystic fibrosis these channels are affected and ions can't be secreted in to the lumen and cholera toxin can't affect such individuals because the basic machinery is defected.

Q.4: What does this tell you about how bodies deal with disease:

A: This tells us that a disease affects specific part of the body and impairs the function of that part. And as the our body organs are inter dependent. Defect in a specific part of the body affects the whole body. This also tells us that If we stop the basic microscopic impairment we can effectively prevent the gross impairment from happening.

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