Vibrio, Aeromonas, Plesiomonas, & Campylobacter

Vibrio, Aeromonas, Plesiomonas, & Campylobacter

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Vibrio, Aeromonas, Plesiomonas, & Campylobacter

Vibrio species

General characteristics

  • Gram negative rods with polar, sheathed flagella in broth but peritrichous, unsheathed flagella on solid media
  • Rods are “curved” in clinical specimens, but small, straight rods after culture
  • Facultatively anaerobic
  • Asporogenous

Vibrio species (cont’d)

  • Most are oxidase positive and able to reduce nitrates to nitrites
  • All are susceptible to vibriostatic compound O/129
  • Most exhibit a mucoid “stringing” reaction when colonies mixed with sodium desoxycholate
  • Except for V. cholerae and V. mimicus, all are halophilic (salt-loving)
  • Some strains can be serotyped
  • Vibrio species can be isolated from a variety of clinical specimens, including feces, wound, and blood

  • Major species are V. cholerae, V. parahaemolyticus, V. vulnificus, and V. alginolyticus


  • Recent consumption of raw seafood (especially oysters)
  • Recent immigration or foreign travel
  • Gastroenteritis with cholera-like or rice-water stools
  • Accidental trauma during contact with fresh or marine water

Vibrio cholerae

  • cholerae O1 is causative agent of cholera
    • Also known as Asiatic cholera or epidemic cholera; particularly prevalent in India and Bangladesh
    • Also seen along the Gulf coast of the U.S.

Clinical Infection

  • Acute diarrheal disease
  • Spread through contaminated water, but also improperly preserved foods, including fish and seafood, milk, ice cream, and unpreserved meat
  • “Rice Water” stools
    • Caused by cholera toxin or choleragen
    • Dehydration is usual cause of death

Vibrio parahaemolyticus

  • Second most common Vibrio species involved in gastroenteritis
  • “Summer diarrhea” in Japan
  • Most cases traced to recent consumption of raw, improperly  cooked, or recontaminated seafood, especially oysters
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms are generally self-limiting; watery diarrhea, moderate cramps or vomiting

Vibrio vulnificus

  • Found in marine environments along all coasts in the U.S.
  • Two categories of infections
    • Primary septicemia following consumption of contaminated shellfish, especially raw oysters; patients with liver dysfunction that results in increased levels of iron are predisposed
    • Wound infections following traumatic aquatic wound


  • Ubiquitous oxidase-positive, glucose-fermenting, motile, not curved gram-negative rods widely distributed in fresh and salt water environments
  • Isolated from produce and meat sources






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