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Yersinia enterocolitica
SpecialtyInfectious disease Edit this on Wikidata

Yersiniosis is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium of the genus Yersinia. In the United States, most yersiniosis infections among humans are caused by Yersinia enterocolitica.

Infection with Y. enterocolitica occurs most often in young children.[citation needed] The infection is thought to be contracted through the consumption of undercooked meat products, unpasteurized milk, or water contaminated by the bacteria. It has been also sometimes associated with handling raw chitterlings.[1][2]

Another bacterium of the same genus, Yersinia pestis, is the cause of Plague.

Signs and symptoms[edit]

Infection with Y. enterocolitica can cause a variety of symptoms depending on the age of the person infected. Common symptoms in children are fever, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, which is often bloody. Symptoms typically develop 4 to 7 days after exposure and may last 1 to 3 weeks or longer. In older children and adults, right-sided abdominal pain and fever may be the predominant symptoms, and may be confused with appendicitis. In a small proportion of cases, complications such as skin rash, joint pains, ileitis, erythema nodosum, and sometimes sepsis, acute arthritis[3] or the spread of bacteria to the bloodstream (bacteremia) can occur.


Phage typing of bacterial culture or antibodies for F-antigen.


Treatment for gastroenteritis due to Y. enterocolitica is not needed in the majority of cases. Severe infections with systemic involvement (sepsis or bacteremia) often requires aggressive antibiotic therapy; the drugs of choice are doxycycline and an aminoglycoside. Alternatives include cefotaxime, fluoroquinolones, and co-trimoxazole.[4][5]


  1. ^ Jones TF (August 2003). "From pig to pacifier: chitterling-associated yersiniosis outbreak among black infants". Emerging Infectious Diseases. 9 (8): 1007–9. doi:10.3201/eid0908.030103. PMC 3020614. PMID 12967503.
  2. ^ Lee, LA.; Gerber, AR.; Lonsway, DR.; Smith, JD.; Carter, GP.; Puhr, ND.; Parrish, CM.; Sikes, RK.; Finton, RJ.; Tauxe, RV. (1990). " Yersinia enterocolitica O:3 infections in infants and children, associated with the household preparation of chitterlings". New England Journal of Medicine. 322 (14): 984–987. doi:10.1056/NEJM199004053221407. PMID 2314448.
  3. ^ "Yersiniosis". Medical Dictionary. Retrieved 2013-01-28.
  4. ^ Torok E. Oxford MHandbook of Infect Dis and Microbiol, 2009
  5. ^ Collins FM (1996). Baron S; et al. (eds.). Pasteurella, and Francisella. In: Barron's Medical Microbiology (4th ed.). Univ of Texas Medical Branch. ISBN 0-9631172-1-1. (via NCBI Bookshelf).

External links[edit]