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Contamination of Spanish drinking water



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Aeromonas is a gram-negative, facultative anaerobic rod that morphologically resembles members of the family Enterobacteriaceae. Fourteen species of Aeromonas have been described, most of which 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.

They group with the gamma subclass of the Proteobacteria.

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

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Int J Food Microbiol. 2011 Jun 30;147(3):203-10. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2011.04.006. Epub 2011 Apr 21.  Identification and epidemiological relationships of Aeromonas isolates from patients with diarrhea, drinking water and foods.  Pablos M1, Huys G, Cnockaert M, Rodríguez-Calleja JM, Otero A, Santos JA, García-López ML.  Department of Food Hygiene and Food Technology, Veterinary Faculty, University of León, Spain.

A collection of Aeromonas isolates obtained over a three-year period in the same geographic area (León, NW of Spain) was characterized by (GTG)₅-PCR fingerprinting, amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis and gyrB gene sequence analysis. The isolates originated from

  • human diarrheal stools (29 isolates),
  • potable water (13 isolates),
  • rabbit meat (13 isolates) and
  • marine fish (5 isolates).

The distribution of Aeromonas species varied with the strain source. Aeromonas caviae HG4 and Aeromonas media HG5 were predominant in clinical and water isolates, respectively, whereas motile Aeromonas salmonicida HG3 strains were most frequently found in fish and meat.

Molecular typing revealed several genotypic relationships among specific isolate subsets:

  • (i) two clones of A. media HG5 persisted in drinking water over the study period,
  • (ii) different patients harbored identical or closely related clones during several months, and
  • (iii) clonal relatedness was observed in two sets of water and human isolates.

The first of these sets comprised nine water isolates and two human A. media HG5 isolates, whereas the other one included a water isolate and a human isolate of A. caviae HG4.

The latter finding suggests that Aeromonas transmission in the studied region followed a waterborne route.

Interestingly, the three human isolates closely related to water isolates were recovered in a period of four days in June 2006 from non-related patients without underlying medical conditions that tested negative for other enteric pathogens.

The data imply the transmission through contaminated water of strains of the A. caviae group that can produce disease in humans.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21550680

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