New causative bacteria of food poisoning

S. Shinoda

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The number of outbreaks of food poisoning in Japan is more than one thousand per year. Of the outbreaks in which causative agents were determined, 80 to 90% are due to bacteria, such as Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella and so on. In recent years, gastroenteritis due to bacteria other than well known food poisoning bacteria is attracting notice. Therefore, the Ministry of Welfare designated these bacteria as new causative organisms of food poisoning in March, 1982. NAG vibrio is a group of V. cholerae but does not agglutinate with antiserum against somatic (O) antigen of cholera vibrio (O1 V. cholerae). NAG vibrio is distributed in natural water, from fresh water to marine water, and some strains cause cholera like diarrhea. V. fluvialis, a slightly halophilic bacterium, inhabits estuarine and marine areas whereas Plesiomonas and Aeromonas inhabit fresh water, although they are included in the family Vibrionaceae. These bacteria also cause gastroenteritis. Yersinia enterocolitica is widely carried in domestic and wild animals, causes enteritis accompanied by diarrhea and abdominal pain, and is rarely isolated from cases of arthritis, erythema nodosum and septicemia. The fact that the organism is a psychrophilic bacterium brings a sanitation problem in cold storage of foods. Campylobacter jejuni/coli, a microaerobic bacterium, is widespread in animals, especially in avian hosts. The organism known as an etiologic agent for infectious abortion or placentitis also cause acute enteritis. It is said that the etiologic significance of the organism as a pathogen for sporadic diarrheal cases is more important than that of Salmonella. Although gastroenteritis due to enteropathogenic Escherichia coli(EPEC) are well known, the fact that some strains of E. coli other than EPEC also cause gastroenteritis was confirmed in the last decade. These are enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) and enteroinvasive E. coli. ETEC produce two kinds of enterotoxin heat-stable toxin (ST) and heat-labile toxin (LT). LT has immunological cross reactivity with cholera toxin (CT), and the mechanism of action and molecular construction are also similar to those of CT. Therefore, the investigation of ETEC progressed with that of cholera vibrio, and the progress stimulated the study of other enteropathogenic bacteria described above.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEisei Kagaku
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 1983


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Toxicology

Cite this

Shinoda, S. (1983). New causative bacteria of food poisoning. In Eisei Kagaku (2 ed., Vol. 29, pp. 33-44)