A fish pathogen, Vibrio cholerae non-O1, was isolated from diseased ayu fish (Plecoglossus altivelis) collected from rivers in eight prefectural districts of Japan. This organism was found to have biochemical characteristics similar to those of V. cholerae non-O1, except that our isolates were negative for ornithine decarboxylase. Antiserum against an ayu isolate did not agglutinate with the majority of environmental V. cholerae non-O1 isolates, but a major O antigen was common among the ayu isolates. All strains were hemolytic to sheep erythrocytes, and oral administration of culture supernatants induced fluid accumulation in suckling mice. However, the crude toxin was not lethal to adult mice, and no cholera toxin-like enterotoxins were detected
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