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short (1-5 microns long and 0.3-0.6 microns thick), bent bacteria resembling a comma and possessing flagella; they belong to the genus Vibrio. They live in water, soil, and the intestinal contents of animals and man. There are more than 100 species of vibrios, many of which are pathogenic for man—for example, V. comma, the causative agent of cholera. Several species are pathogenic only for animals—for example, V. metchnikovii, which strikes birds. Other species are pathogenic for fish and a number of invertebrates.