Four strains of Edwardsiella tarda, a recently described member of the Entero-bacteriaceae, were studied, They were isolated from four out of 832 children during a 3-year survey of juvenile diarrhoea at Vellore, S. India. Three of the four children had diarrhoea when the organisms were isolated and one was convalescent from bacillary dysentery. From this study and a review of the literature it appears that Ed. tarda is found only infrequently in man and that its main reservoir may be in animals such as snakes and seals. It is suggested that this organism should be specifically looked for in cases of diarrhoea to determine its etiological role, particularly when the major intestinal pathogens are not isolated.
This work forms part of the studies on the etiology of diarrhoeal infections in children for the Ph.D thesis of P.B., and the grant from the Indian Council for Medical Research towards these studies is gratefully acknowledged. We also wish to thank Dr Sakazaki for serotyping the strains.