1998 Volume 51 Issue 1 Pages 1-12
An investigation on the prevalence of Aeromonas in gastrointestinal illnesses of pediatric inpatients 1 month to 3 years of age was conducted from February 1997 through January 1998 in Madras. Sixteen Aeromonas spp. were isolated from 11 male and five female children among the 341 pediatric inpatients suffering from acute diarrhoea. A. caviae, which was isolated from nine cases, was found to be the most predominant isolate, followed by A. veronii biovar sobria, isolated from six cases, and A. hydrophila, isolated from one case. Shigella flexneri was recovered along with Aeromonas veronii biotype sobria serotype 035 from one 5-month-old female child. We did not notice any seasonal pattern in the association between Aeromonas and childhood gastroenteritis. None of the 147 stool samples obtained from age-matched non-diarrhoeic control children yielded Aeromonas spp. Isolation of Aeromonas spp. from patients suffering from gastroenteritis was found to be significant (χ2=7.1312; P=0.008, <0.01) . Among the 16 Aeromonas isolates, seven isolates of A. caviae and two isolates of A. veronii biovar sobria induced a secretory response in rabbit intestinal mucosa mounted in Ussing chambers as demonstrated by a significant increase in the short circuit current. Nine of the 16 Aeromonas isolates, including three isolates of A. caviae, five isolates of A. veronii biovar sobria, and the solitary isolate of A. hydrophila were also cytotoxic to CHO cells.
Five of the six isolates of A. veronii biovar sobria and the A. hydrophila isolate produced hemolysin. The results of this study indicate that Aeromonas species are important causative agents of diarrhoea in childhood gastroenteritis and are prevalent throughout the year in Madras.