Public Health

Aeromonas hydrophila is listed on the United States Environmental Protection Agency Contaminant Candidate List of emerging pathogens in drinking water because of its tendency to form biofilms in water distribution systems. The Safe Drinking Water Act of 1996 requires the United States Environmental Protection Agency to list contaminants anticipated to occur in drinking water systems in order to generate scientific research on the contaminant so that it can be more efficiently regulated from being a public health risk.

Aeromonas hydrophila was found in diarrhea samples of 0.5%-16.9% of all ill patients. The prevalence is similar to the number of incidences reported of Salmonella and Shigella.

While it is found to cause illness in many individuals, there is debate over its sole ability to cause infection due to the fact that it was found in 0%-10% of asymptomatic individuals in the control group. There is a possibility that these unaffected individuals may have a resistance mechanism to the bacteria or they may have a stronger immune system compared to those who are affected by the bacteria. It is also possible that there are strains of Aeromonas hydrophila that lack certain virulence factors that are able to cause infection, therefore, it is possible that there are non-pathogenic strains of this species.

Areas of poor personal and environmental hygiene have higher rates of Aeromonas hydrophila in stool samples.

Specifically in Wisconsin, Aeromonas was found in 0.66% of diarrheic stool samples. Of those infected in the sample, Aeromonas was found in samples of their drinking water. It was also found in other groundwater obtained from private wells throughout Wisconsin.

Over an 18 month period in La Crosse, Wisconsin, 20 patients (1.1%) out of 1,821 patients with diarrhea were positive for A. hydrophila.

Visit to learn more about the occurrence rate of Aeromonas hydrophila throughout the world.

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