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Yersinia enterocolitica

A review of Yersinia enterocolitica.
Foodborne Pathogens
Edited by: Pina M. Fratamico, Arun K. Bhunia, and James L. Smith

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Yersinia enterocolitica

Adapted from Truls Nesbakken in Foodborne Pathogens: Microbiology and Molecular Biology
Yersinia enterocolitica: Yersinia enterocolitica includes well-established pathogens and environmental strains that are ubiquitous in terrestrial and fresh water ecosystems. Evidence from large outbreaks of yersiniosis and from epidemiological studies of sporadic cases has shown that Yersinia enterocolitica is a foodborne pathogen, and that in many cases pork is implicated as the source of infection. The pig is the only animal consumed by man that regularly harbours pathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica. An important property of the bacterium is its ability to multiply at temperatures near to 0 degrees C, and therefore in many chilled foods. The pathogenic serovars (mainly O:3, O:5,27, O:8 and O:9) show different geographical distribution. However, the appearance of strains of serovars O:3 and O:9 in Europe, Japan in the 1970s, and in North America by the end of the 1980s, is an example of a global pandemic. The possible risk of reactive arthritis following infection with Yersinia enterocolitica has led to further attention being paid to this microbe.