Atlas of foodborne infections
transmitted by contaminated food and water

Atlas of Patogens Contents Information sources Glossary Administration

Plesiomonas shigelloides


Fish and Fish Products
Water and Beverages


Foodborne Disease:
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gastroenteritis - fever, chills, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhoea, or vomiting

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Plesiomonas shigelloides  is a Gram-negative rod-shaped bacterium which has been isolated from freshwater, freshwater fish, and shellfish and from many types of animals including cattle, goats, swine, cats, dogs, monkeys, vultures, snakes, and toads.

Most human P. shigelloides infections are suspected to be waterborne. The organism may be present in unsanitary water, which has been used as drinking water, recreational water, or water used to rinse foods that are consumed without cooking or heating. The ingested P. shigelloides organism does not always cause illness in the host animal but may reside temporarily as a transient, non-infectious member of the intestinal flora. It has been isolated from the stools of patients with diarrhoea, but is also sometimes isolated from healthyindividuals (0.2-3.2% of population).

P. shigelloides gastroenteritis is usually a mild self-limiting disease with fever, chills, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhoea, or vomiting; symptoms may begin 20-24 hours after consumption of contaminated food or water; diarrhoea is watery, non-mucoid, and nonbloody; in severe cases, diarrhoea may be greenish-yellow, foamy, and blood tinged; duration of illness in healthy people may be 1-7 days.

Most P. shigelloides infections occur in the summer months and correlate with environmental contamination of freshwater (rivers, streams, ponds, etc.). The usual route of transmission of the organism in sporadic or epidemic cases is by ingestion of contaminated water or raw shellfish.
All people may be susceptible to infection. Infants, children and chronically ill people are more likely to experience protracted illness and complications.


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