Virulence properties of clinically significant Aeromonas species: evidence for pathogenicity

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Members of the genus Aeromonas are responsible for a significant number of intestinal and extra-intestinal infections in humans as well as other animals. However, their true role in enteric disease has been hindered by an inadequate human volunteer study, lack of an appropriate animal model and deficiencies in diagnostic procedures. The latter are probably responsible in part for the small number of outbreaks that have been reported. Despite these difficulties, several recent outbreaks and epidemiological studies have indicated a strong association between isolation of Aeromonas and enteric disease. This has further stimulated research into potential pathogenic properties of Aeromonas, and much progress has been made over the last few years with regard to colonization, protection from the host and extracellular factors. It is hoped that these advances in elucidating the role of potential pathogenicity factors will be matched by interest and diagnostic studies, so that together the true nature of Aeromonas in disease will be more closely understood.

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