NAME: Plesiomonas shigelloides
SYNONYM OR CROSS REFERENCE: Plesiomonas diarrhea, Plesiomonas infection Formerly: C 27, Escherichia, Pseudomonas shigelloides, Pseudomonas michigani, Aeromonas shigelloides, Fergusonia, Vibrio shigelloides.
CHARACTERISTICS: Plesiomonas shigelloides is a species of gram-negative, rod-shaped bacteria Footnote 1. They are generally 0.3-1.0 µm in width, 0.6-6.0 µm in length, motile with polar flagella, non-spore-producing, and facultatively anaerobic Footnote 2-Footnote 5. Plesiomonas shigelloides was formerly classified in the Vibrionaceae family, but is now a part of the Enterobacteriaceae family Footnote 2. They are able to grow at salt concentrations of 0-5%, at a pH of 4.0-8.0, and at temperatures of 8-44oC Footnote 1, Footnote 5.
PATHOGENICITY/TOXICITY: May result in gastroenteritis or extraintestinal infections. Clinical symptoms of gastroenteritis include fever, secretory or dysenteric diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, chills, arthralgia, and headache Footnote 1, Footnote 2, Footnote 5. Symptoms usually resolve spontaneously within two weeks but can last months Footnote 5, Footnote 6. Asymptomatic cases are possible, but very rare Footnote 1. Extraintestinal infections are less common; however, individuals who are elderly, immunocompromised, or have underlying diseases are at higher risk Footnote 7. Extraintestinal infections include septicaemia, meningitis, osteomyelitis, cellulitis, septic arthritis, endophthalmitis, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, and acute cholecystitis Footnote 1, Footnote 8, Footnote 9. Systemic infection, especially septicaemia, is very serious and has a high mortality rate Footnote 7.
HOST RANGE:Humans, amphibians, birds, monkeys, polecats, reptiles, cats, cows, dogs, goats, pigs, sheep, and aquatic animals such as: fishes, crabs, prawns, mussels, and oysters Footnote 2, Footnote 10.
INFECTIOUS DOSE: Unknown.
MODE OF TRANSMISSION: Plesiomonas shigelloides can be transmitted through the fecal-oral route, through the consumption of infected seafood (especially oysters), contaminated water and contaminated vegetables, and through exposure to amphibians and reptiles Footnote 2, Footnote 6, Footnote 11.
INCUBATION PERIOD: Usually under 48 hours Footnote 7.
RESERVOIR: The primary reservoirs of Plesiomonas shigelloides are aquatic environments, including freshwater, estuarine water, and seawater Footnote 2. Other reservoirs include soil, and animals Footnote 1, Footnote 12.
ZOONOSIS: Yes, by contact with fish, reptiles, and amphibians Footnote 11.
DRUG RESISTANCE: Resistance against ampicillin, chloramphenicol, carbenicillin, piperacillin, ticarcillin has been documented Footnote 5, Footnote 12. The bacterium is also variably resistant to aminoglycosides, cotrimoxazole, and tetracycline Footnote 5, Footnote 12.
PHYSICAL INACTIVATION: Inactivated by a pH of 4 after 60 minutes, pH of 2 after 15 minutes Footnote 18. Sensitive to moist heat (121oC for at least 15 minutes), and dry heat (160-170oC for at least 1 hour) Footnote 19.
SURVEILLANCE: Monitor for symptoms. Aeromonas spp. and Plesiomonas shigelloides specimens can be differentiated by Moeller’s lysine, ornithine, and arginine tests, and by fermentation of m-inositol Footnote 5.
Note: All diagnostic methods are not necessarily available in all countries.
FIRST AID/TREATMENT: Plesiomonas shigelloides is usually self-resolving and does not require treatment. Electrolyte and fluid replacement can be applied Footnote 21. Antibiotic therapy should be used for chronic or more serious infection such as: severe dysenteric or chronic intestinal infections as well as extraintestinal infections. The usual course of treatment is fluoroquinolones and trimethoprim, although carbapenems are also frequently used Footnote 10.
LABORATORY-ACQUIRED INFECTIONS: None reported as of 2010.
PRIMARY HAZARDS: Accidental parenteral inoculation, contact with infected animals and faeces.
SPECIAL HAZARDS: None.
RISK GROUP CLASSIFICATION: Risk Group 2.
CONTAINMENT REQUIREMENTS: Containment Level 2 facilities, equipment, and operational practices for work involving infectious or potentially infectious materials, animals, or cultures.
PROTECTIVE CLOTHING: Lab coat. Gloves when direct skin contact with infected materials or animals is unavoidable. Eye protection must be used where there is a known or potential risk of exposure to splashes Footnote 23.
OTHER PRECAUTIONS: All procedures that may produce aerosols, or involve high concentrations or large volumes should be conducted in a biological safety cabinet (BSC). The use of needles, syringes, and other sharp objects should be strictly limited. Additional precautions should be considered with work involving animals or large scale activities Footnote 23.
SPILLS: Allow aerosols to settle and, wearing protective clothing, gently cover spill with paper towels and apply an appropriate disinfectant, starting at the perimeter and working towards the centre. Allow sufficient contact time before clean up.
DISPOSAL: Decontaminate all wastes that contain or have come in contact with the infectious organism before disposing by autoclave, chemical disinfection, gamma irradiation, or incineration.
STORAGE: The infectious agent should be stored in leak-proof containers that are appropriately labelled.
REGULATORY INFORMATION: The import, transport, and use of pathogens in Canada is regulated under many regulatory bodies, including the Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Environment Canada, and Transport Canada. Users are responsible for ensuring they are compliant with all relevant acts, regulations, guidelines, and standards.
UPDATED: December 2011
PREPARED BY: Pathogen Regulation Directorate, Public Health Agency of Canada
Although the information, opinions and recommendations contained in this Pathogen Safety Data Sheet are compiled from sources believed to be reliable, we accept no responsibility for the accuracy, sufficiency, or reliability or for any loss or injury resulting from the use of the information. Newly discovered hazards are frequent and this information may not be completely up to date.
Public Health Agency of Canada, 2011