Occurrence, diversity and pathogenicity of mesophilic Aeromonas in estuarine waters of the Italian coast of the Adriatic Sea

C. Fiorentini, E. Barbieri, L. Falzano, P. Matarrese, W. Baffone, A. Pianetti, M. Katouli, I. Kühn, R. Möllby, F. Bruscolini, A. Casiere, G. Donelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A total of 208 strains of Aeromonas were isolated by monthly sampling from two estuaries (one provided with, and the other devoid of a waste-water treatment system) on the Italian coast of the Adriatic sea between September 1994 and August 1995. Biotyping at the species level allowed the identification of 96 strains (46%) as Aer. caviae, 46 (22%) as Aer. sobria, 33 (16%) as Aer. hydrophila and 25 (12%) as Aer. veronii. Eight strains (4%) were regarded as unnamed aeromonads. Aeromonas caviae was the most prevalent species in water with a high degree of pollution, while Aer. hydrophila strains were more commonly isolated from cleaner water. Aeromanas sobria and Aer. veronii were equally distributed in both estuaries. There was no correlation between temperature and numbers of aeromonads in either estuary. Using a biochemical fingerprinting method, strains were divided into similarity groups (PhP-types) based on their biochemical phenotypes. Several different PhP-types were found in each estuary, yielding a high diversity for these strains. However, some identical PhP-types were also found in both estuaries and at different times of the year, indicating that certain Aeromonas strains can survive more widely varying physico-chemical conditions. The production of toxins capable of causing cytoskeletal- dependent changes in the morphology of Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells was detected in 14 strains and appeared to be dependent on the season.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-511
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Biotechnology
  • Microbiology


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