Edwardsiellosis in Man and Animals in Panamá: Clinical and Epidemiological Characteristics

Miguel KouranyGorgas Memorial Laboratory, Apartado 6991, Panamá 5, Panamá

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Manuel A. VasquezGorgas Memorial Laboratory, Apartado 6991, Panamá 5, Panamá

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Rolando SaenzGorgas Memorial Laboratory, Apartado 6991, Panamá 5, Panamá

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Edwardsiella tarda was isolated during etiologic and epidemiologic investigations of diarrheal disease agents in man and for Enterobacteriaceae in various species of wild-caught animals in Panamá. A total of 50 strains were recovered from approximately 14,000 specimens cultured between 1965 and 1972. In this period, Edwardsiella was isolated from ten individuals with a clinically diagnosed diarrheal syndrome, while 20 of some 3,000 persons from rural areas were asymptomatic carriers of these organisms. Edwardsiella tarda was also associated with two fatal cases of extraintestinal infection in man. In both cases liver abscess was a predominant feature. Edwardsiella was not demonstrated in either symptomatic or asymptomatic persons from urban areas. Edwardsiella tarda was present among some of the wild fauna of Panamá; various species of animals including snakes, toads, monkeys, and opossums harbored this organism.

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