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Plesiomonas shigelloides is primarily found in aquatic environments. It may be a surprise to you, but home aquariums are included as an aquatic environment. If you own a pet fish, this bacterium might be living side by side with you. It has been found in home aquariums before; brought through your front door with the purchase of an infected new pet fish. Unless you plan on eating your fish, you'll be safe. Make sure to keep cats and dogs out of your fish tank to prevent them from suffering a temporary infection. Learn more about infections on the toxin page. In addition to aquatic environments, this bacterium has been found in soil in terrestrial environments near rivers or creeks.

Plesiomonas shigelloides has maximum growth between 35°C-38°C, but can grow within the range of 8°C-45°C. Other ideal conditions include 4.0-9.0pH levels, and 2.0% to 3.0% NaCl. However, it has been proven that NaCl is not a requirement for growth of this bacterium. Due to the salinity tolerance, this bacterium can only survive in seawater in limited conditions.



Plesiomonas shigelloides can be commonly found in tropical environments. In addition, it can be found in temperate environments, but survives optimally during the warm season. The map below outlines the region that this bacteria has typically been located. Though it has been recorded outside of those boundaries, it's not common. More tropical areas closer to the equator have more outbreaks because this bacterium can survive in those aquatic environments year round. Getting farther away from the equator, Plesiomonas shigelloides can still survive in the temperate climate, but only while conditions are right. Once temperatures drop too much the bacterium dies. Surprisingly enough, small amounts of this bacterium have been found in the polar circle.


Map courtesy National Geographic Education. National Geographic does not review or endorse content added to this background by others. Map modified from www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions.

Plesiomonas shigelloides in Wisconsin.

Plesiomonas shigelloides is not a concern for Wisconsin residents. It may be found in some lakes and ponds, but it’s rare to come by. The only time a Wisconsinite should worry about getting this pathogen is during travels to more coastal or southern areas.


That's where Plesiomonas shigelloides can be found; let's check out how it has adapted!