Plesiomonas shigelloides


This bacterium is present in freshwater, freshwater fish, and shellfish and from many types of animals including cattle, goats, swine, cats, dogs, monkeys, vultures, snakes, and toads.

Human P. shigelloides infections are waterborne. The organism may be present in unsanitary water, which has been used as drinking water, recreational water, or water used to rinse foods that are consumed without cooking or heating. P. shigelloides infections occur in summer months and correlate with environmental contamination of freshwater (rivers, streams, ponds, etc.). The usual route of transmission in cases is by eating contaminated water or raw shellfish

P. shigelloides gastroenteritis is usually a mild self-limiting disease with fever, chills, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting; symptoms may begin 20-24 hours after eating contaminated food or water. Diarrhea is watery, non-mucoid, and non-bloody and in severe cases may be greenish-yellow, foamy, and blood tinged. Duration of illness in healthy people may be 1-7 days.


P. shigelloides infection may cause diarrhea of 1-2 days duration in healthy adults. However, there may be high fever and chills and protracted dysenteric symptoms in infants and children under 15 years of age. Extra- intestinal complications (septicemia and death) may occur in people who are immunocompromised or seriously ill with cancer, blood disorders, or hepatobiliary disease.

MMWR 47(19):1998