Atlas of foodborne infections
transmitted by contaminated food and water

Atlas of Patogens Contents Information sources Glossary Administration

Aeromonas hydrophila

CZ: aeromonas (?ti eromonás hydrofila)
EN: aeromonas

Meat and Meat Products
Fish and Fish Products


Foodborne Disease:
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gastroenteritis - cholera-like illness with intensive diarrhoea and dysenteric illness.

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Aeromonas hydrophila is a species of bacterium that is present in all freshwater environments and in brackish water. Some strains of A. hydrophila are capable of causing illness in fish and amphibians as well as in humans who may acquire infections through open wounds or by ingestion of a sufficient quantity of the organisms in food or water. Not as much is known about the other Aeromonas spp., but they too are aquatic microorganisms and have been implicated in human disease.

A. hydrophila may cause gastroenteritis in healthy individuals or septicemia in individuals with impaired immune systems or various malignancies. A. caviae and A. sobria also may cause enteritis in anyone or septicemia in immunocompromised persons or those with malignancies.

Two distinct types of gastroenteritis have been associated with A. hydrophila: A cholera-like illness with a watery (rice and water) diarrhoea and a dysenteric illness characterized by loose stools containing blood and mucus.

A. hydrophila can be cultured from stools or from blood by plating the organisms on an agar medium containing sheep blood and the antibiotic ampicillin. Ampicillin prevents the growth of most competing microorganisms. The species identification is confirmed by a series of biochemical tests. The ability of the organism to produce the enterotoxin believed to cause the gastrointestinal symptoms can be confirmed by tissue culture assays.

A. hydrophila has frequently been found in fish and shellfish. It has also been found in market samples of red meats (beef, pork, lamb) and poultry.

A. hydrophila may spread throughout the body and cause a general infection in persons with impaired immune systems. Those at risk are individuals suffering from leukemia, carcinoma, and cirrhosis and those treated with immunosuppressive drugs or who are undergoing cancer chemotherapy. All people are believed to be susceptible to gastroenteritis, although it is most frequently observed in very young children.


Aeromonas hydrophila
Source: affected fish
Aeromonas hydrophila
Source: Columbia agar, 36°C, 24h, aerobically
Aeromonas hydrophila
Source: chicken meat market
Aeromonas hydrophila
Source: insufficiend grilled meat
Aeromonas hydrophila
Source: koi fish ulcer with motile aeromonas
Aeromonas hydrophila
Source: MacConkey agar, 36°C, 24h, aerobically
Aeromonas hydrophila
Source: microbiological cultivation
Aeromonas hydrophila
Source: microscopic examination of Aeromonas colonies (colored)

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