Author(s): T Chakraborty
Culture filtrates of two Aeromonas hydrophila strains which were isolated from patients with diarrhea and assumed to be causative agents of the infections were shown to contain enterotoxic, cytotoxic, and hemolytic activities. Modest heat treatment of the filtrates inactivated the cytotoxic and cytolytic activities, but not the enterotoxic activity. The construction of cosmid gene banks in Escherichia coli of DNA from both A. hydrophila strains demonstrated that the determinants of the three activities are located on three different segments of the A. hydrophila chromosome. Both heated culture filtrates of A. hydrophila and nonheated filtrates of an E. coli clone containing the A. hydrophila enterotoxin gene provoked fluid accumulation in the rabbit ileal loop and suckling mouse models and caused elongation of Chinese hamster ovary cells. Differences in the responses of the models to the A. hydrophila enterotoxin and to the heat-labile and heat-stabile toxins of E. coli indicated that the former is distinct from the latter two types of toxin. These results constitute conclusive evidence for the production by A. hydrophila of a cytotonic enterotoxin that is distinct from the A. hydrophila cytotoxin and hemolysin and known E. coli enterotoxins.