Comprehensive Description

Description of Aeromonas

A genus of relatively few species, but widespread in distribution and with free-living and pathogenic forms, some of which are human pathogens associated with wounds (alligator) bites, as well as being associated with other medical disorders such as diarrhoeoa and meninigitis. Type species: Aeromonas hydrophila (Chester 1901) Stanier 1943
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Aeromonas is a Gram-negative, facultative anaerobic, rod-shaped bacterium that morphologically resembles members of the family Enterobacteriaceae. Most of the 14 described species have been associated with human diseases. The most important pathogens are A. hydrophila, A. caviae, and A. veronii biovar sobria. The organisms are ubiquitous in fresh and brackish water. [1]

They group with the gamma subclass of the Proteobacteria.[2]

Two major diseases associated with Aeromonas are gastroenteritis and wound infections, with or without bacteremia. Gastroenteritis typically occurs after the ingestion of contaminated water or food, whereas wound infections result from exposure to contaminated water.

Although some potential virulence factors (e.g. endotoxins, hemolysins, enterotoxins, adherence factors) have been identified, their precise roles are unknown. Aeromonas species cause:

  1. opportunistic systemic disease in immunocompromised patients
  2. diarrheal disease in otherwise healthy individuals
  3. wound infections

Caution about differential diagnosis[edit]

If automated machines are not using the most updated database, Elizabethkingia meningoseptica may be mistaken for Aeromonas salmonicida.


Gastrointestinal disease in children is usually an acute, severe illness, whereas that in adults tends to be chronic diarrhea. Severe Aeromonas gastroenteritis resembles shigellosis, with blood and leukocytes in the stool. Acute diarrheal disease is self-limited, and only supportive care is indicated in affected patients.

Antimicrobial therapy[edit]

Aeromonas species are resistant to penicillins, most cephalosporins, and erythromycin. Ciprofloxacin is consistently active against their strains in the U.S. and Europe, but resistant cases have been reported in Asia.


The name Aeromonas derives from:
Greek noun aer, aeros (ἀήρ, ἀέρος), air, gas; and -monas|monas (μονάς / μονάδα), unit, monad; gas(-producing) monad.[3]

Members of the genus Aeromonas can be referred to as aeromonads (viz. trivialisation of names).


Further reading[edit]

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