Aeromonas is a facultative anaerobic, Gram-negative, rod-shaped bacteria genus that belongs to the family Aeromonadaceae. 14 species of this genus have been described and most of them are associated with human diseases, including A. caviae, A. hydrophila, and A. veronii biovar sobria. Aeromonas comprises many important human pathogens, which causes many human diseases including gastroenteritis, primary and secondary septicemia in immunocompromised persons, serious wound infections in both healthy individuals and in patients undergoing medicinal leech therapy, a number of less well described illnesses (for example: meningitis, peritonitis, and infections of joints, the eye, and bones).
Fig. 1 Environmental sources of Aeromonas species potentially leading to infection or colonization in humans (J. Michael Janda, et al. Clin. Microbiol. Rev. 2010)
Gastroenteritis and wound infections, with or without bacteremia, are the two major diseases associated with Aeromonas. Gastroenteritis is the most common type of human infections associated with Aeromonas. Gastroenteritis often occurs after the ingestion of contaminated water or food. In children, it is usually an acute, severe illness. In most cases, the symptoms begin 12–72 hours after contracting the infectious agent. Typically, gastroenteritis caused by Aeromonas and other bacteria involves both diarrhea and vomiting, sometimes associated with severe abdominal pain. The second most-common type of human infection associated with Aeromonas is wound infection. Wound infections occur when the wound is exposed to contaminated water. In the most severe form, Aeromonas spp. can cause the life-threatening necrotizing fasciitis. In this situation, treatment with antibiotics and even amputation is usually required.
Fig. 2 Hypothetical model of Aeromonas wound infection (J. Michael Janda, et al. Clin. Microbiol. Rev. 2010)
Aeromonas are ubiquitous in the microbial biosphere, especially in aquatic environments. They can be isolated in nearly all the environmental niche where bacterial ecosystems exist, including foods, aquatic habitats, fish, domesticated pets, invertebrate species, birds, ticks and insects, and natural soils, despite the lacking of extensive investigations on the latter subject. The genus Aeromonas now have been considered nearly synonymous with water and aquatic environments, as they can be isolated from various aquatic environments including lakes, rivers, ponds, groundwater, seawater (estuaries), drinking water, wastewater, and sewage in various stages of treatment.
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