We conducted a survey during the period from 1974 to 1976, to determine the distribution of Plesiomonas shigelloides in human faeces, the intestinal contents of cattle, swine, poultry, dogs, cats, fresh water fish, and river water and sludge from wet riverbeds in the vicinity of Tokyo. Isolation of the organisms was performed by using Salmonella-Shigella (SS) agar and deoxycholate-hydrogensulphide-lactose (DHL) agar plates.
P. shigelloides was isolated from 3 (0·0078%) of 38454 healthy Tokyoites, 37 (3·8%) of 967 dogs, 40 (10·3%) of 389 cats, 25 (10·2%) of 246 fresh water fish, 64 (12·8%) of 497 river water samples, and 2 of 19 (10·5%) sludge samples.
Of 302 strains isolated, from dogs, cats, fresh water fish, river water and healthy carriers, 196 were typed to 50 serovars. Most of the serovars were found to be similar to strains isolated from patients with gastroenteritis due to P. shigelloides.