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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa


Bacteria > Proteobacteria > Delta Proteobacteria > Aeromonadales > Aeromondaceae

Termed a facultative anaerobe, because it can exist in the presence of oxygen and use oxygen  for aerobic respiration, but it can also exist in anaerobic (non-oxygenated) conditions where it derives its energy from fermentation of organic substances such as carbohydrates. Found abundantly in fresh and brackish water, as well as in food. Can cause disease in humans in that it is one of the bacteria that can cause gastroenteritis (inflammation of the gut) with accompanying diarrhea, and wound infections. Can also cause disease in fish and frogs that are exposed to stressful conditions. About 14 species have been described.

Aeromonas hydrophila is common in aquatic environments and besides being able to infect people, it can cause disease in fish such as tail rot, fin rot, scale protrusion disease, ulcer disease and it can also attack the liver and kidneys. However, it is also found naturally in the fish gut and hence in general, diseases caused by Aeromonas hydrophila are the result of stress.  It also causes the disease called Red Leg in Xenopus frogs, the main symptom of which is internal haemorrhaging, which can result in death.