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J Basic Microbiol. 2013 Nov;53(11):895-901. doi: 10.1002/jobm.201200351. Epub 2013 Jan 15.

Detection and distribution of putative virulence associated genes in Aeromonas species from freshwater and wastewater treatment plant.

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Applied and Environmental Microbiology Research Group (AEMREG), Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Fort Hare, Alice, South Africa.


The detection of genes responsible for Aeromonas virulence is a vital tool in establishing the potential pathogenicity of the bacteria, as these virulence genes may act alone or in synergy in the establishment of infections. Freshwater and wastewater mixed liquor samples were collected from Kat river and Fort Beaufort wastewater treatment plant in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Polymerase chain reaction was utilized for the amplification of the different genes coding for virulence. All virulence associated genes screened (alt, lip, fla, aer, ast, hlyA) were detected in at least one Aeromonas isolates. In fresh water sample, virulence genes were distributed as follows: lip (67%), aer (43%), alt (33%), fla (62%), ast (10%), and hlyA (86%), while in wastewater samples the occurrence were as follows: lip (92%), aer (21%), alt (54%), fla (83%), ast (29%), and hlyA (88%). The presence of these virulence genes in environmental Aeromonas isolates is of concern to public health as these organisms are potential pathogens in the environment and the virulence determinants could be transferred to aquatic organisms and humans by one mechanism or the other.


Aeromonas; Cytotoxin; Flagellin; Lipase; Pathogen; Virulence factors

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