In the course of the El Tor cholera epidemic in Togo (West Africa), Vibrio parahaemolyticus was identified as the causative agent of a cholera-like gastroenteritis. From September 1971 to March 1971 81 cases were confirmed bacteriologically. Seventy patients developed cholera-like symptoms and at first were wrongly diagnosed as cholera cases; 6 other patients were simultaneously infected with El Tor vibrios and V. parahaemolyticus. There was a markedly higher incidence in males than in females. Only sporadic cases occurred, and outbreaks and secondary cases have not been observed. It is suggested that V. parahaemolyticus might be an important agent of acute gastroenteritis on the coast of West Africa.
Present address, to which requests for reprints should be sent: Institute of Hygiene and Microbiology, University of Würzburg, 87 Würzburg, Germany.