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Indian J Med Res. 1999 Aug;110:50-5.

Occurrence of haemolytic & cytotoxic Aeromonas species in domestic water supplies in Chennai.

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Department of Microbiology, Dr ALM Post-Graduate Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Madras, Chennai.


A study on the occurrence of Aeromonas species in the domestic water supplies in Chennai showed that as much as 37.9 per cent of the water samples analyzed from various sources harbored Aeromonas spp. Majority of the isolates belonged to Aeromonas sobria (13.7%), A. caviae (11.6%) and A. hydrophila (9.5%). Among the 37 metropolitan water samples analyzed, 11 samples yielded Aeromonas spp. inclusive of three isolates of A. hydrophila, four of A. sobria and two isolates each of A. caviae and A. jandaei. From a total of 28 bore well water samples analyzed, Aeromonas spp. were recovered from 15 samples, comprising five isolates of A. hydrophila, six of A. sobria and four isolates of A. caviae. Aeromonas spp. inclusive of one isolate of A. hydrophila, five of A. caviae, three of A. sobria and one isolate of A. veronii were isolated from 10 of the 30 water packets of various commercial brands sold in Chennai. Of a total of 36 isolates obtained, 32 (89%) produced beta-haemolysin with the titres ranging from 2-32 and 20 isolates (56%) were cytotoxic to vero cell monolayers. All the Aeromonas isolates were resistant to ampicillin and polymyxin B. All A. hydrophila and A. caviae isolates were also resistant to cephalothin and erythromycin and 83.3 per cent of Aeromonas isolates were resistant to erythromycin. Aeromonads resistant to tetracycline, gentamycin, co-trimoxazole and nalidixic acid appear to be emerging. The study revealed that Aeromonas spp. occur in the potable and domestic water supplies and even in the chlorinated water supplies in Chennai city, which are potentially enteropathogenic and hence may be hazardous to public health. In view of these findings drinking and domestic water quality standards need to be re-evaluated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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