A non-enterotoxigenic strain of Aeromonas hydrophila isolated from diarrheic stools of an 8-month-old child was found to cause vacuolation in Caco-2 cells. The vacuoles became prominent 60 min after addition of the bacterial culture to the cell monolayers and, after 120 min, a complete disruption of the monolayers was observed. Cell vacuolation was not detected when Caco-2 monolayers were tested with sterile filtrates of overnight cultures of the A. hydrophila vacuolating strain AH14846. This strain produced a diffuse adherence pattern in Caco-2 cell monolayers, but did not produce detectable cytotonic enterotoxin in the suckling mouse test and only produced small quantities of aerolysin. By demonstrating the ability to induce vacuolation in mammalian cells of enterocytic lineage, the current study raises the possibility that such activity might contribute to gastrointestinal symptoms in infections involving Aeromonas strains which do not express well-established enterotoxins.