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yersiniosis

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yersiniosis

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 14 July 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Animal Disease
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • yersiniosis
  • Overview
  • Yersiniosis is a disease caused by Yersinia enterocolitica and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. Both bacteria are included in the genus Yersinia, which is classified into the family Enterobacteriacea...

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Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • yersiniosis

International Common Names

  • English: enteritis; systemic yersiniosis, yersinia enterocolitica in sheep; yersinia associated diarrhea in food animals; yersinia pseudotuberculosis in birds; yersinia pseudotuberculosis mastitis in goats; yersinia pseudotuberculosis mastitis in goats and cattle

Overview

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Yersiniosis is a disease caused by Yersinia enterocolitica and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. Both bacteria are included in the genus Yersinia, which is classified into the family Enterobacteriaceae, a group of gram-negative, oxidase-negative and facultatively anaerobic bacteria (Bercovier and Mollaret, 1984). Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis can be divided into several bioserotypes. Only a few bioserotypes of Y. enterocolitica have been associated with disease in humans and animals (Robins-Browne, 1997). There is no clear association between bioserotypes of Y. pseudotuberculosis and the pathogenicity. All fully virulent Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis strains carry about a 70-kb plasmid, which is required for the full expression of virulence (Portnoy and Martinez, 1985).

Yersiniosis is rare in farm animals. However, Y. pseudotuberculosis serotype O3 and Y. enterocolitica bioserotype 5:O2,3 have caused enteritis in sheep and goats, especially in Australia and New Zealand (Slee and Skilbeck, 1992; Gill, 1996). Outbreaks of severe enteritis, caused by both bacteria, have occasionally been reported in young sheep and goats. Sporadic small outbreaks of enteritis caused by Y. pseudotuberculosis has been reported in cattle (Callinan et al., 1988; Slee et al., 1988). Y. enterocolitica has not been reported as causing disease in cattle (Gill, 1996). Y. pseudotuberculosis has been recognized as an occasional cause of abortion in pregnant cows and ewes (Karbe and Erickson, 1984; Hannam, 1993; Welsh and Stair, 1993; Otter, 1996). Yersiniosis, caused by both Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis, has been identified as a rare cause of sporadic enteritis in pigs (Barcellos and Castro, 1981; Zheng, 1987; Harper et al., 1990; Slee and Button, 1990b). Yersiniosis in poultry has not been reported. In an experimental study, broiler chicks were shown to be resistant to high doses of Y. enterocolitica (Nwosuh and Adesiyun, 1989).

Yersiniosis is a zonootic disease. Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis can cause gastrointestinal symptoms ranging from mild self-limited diarrhoea to acute mesenteric lymphadenitis evoking appendicitis (Smego et al., 1999). Y. enterocolitica bioserotype 4:O3 is the most common cause of yersiniosis in humans, especially young children (Robins-Browne, 1997). This microbe has frequently been isolated from healthy pigs, which are considered to be the main reservoir for Y. enterocolitica 4:O3. Infections caused by Y. pseudotuberculosis have been rare in humans. Most cases of human yersiniosis have occurred sporadically without an apparent source.

Hosts/Species Affected

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Poor feeding, long-distance transport and a sudden change in climatic conditions are factors, which have been described as predisposing factors to yersiniosis (McSporran et al., 1984; Slee and Skilbeck, 1992). Also husbandry factors such as, lambing, weaning and shearing have been identified in sheep infected with Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis (Philbey et al. 1991). It has also been suggested that gastrointestinal nematodiasis and coccidiosis, or poor adaptation to diet, could predispose to yersiniosis. Exposure to these factors may reduce resistance to yersinia already established in the intestine (Philbey et al., 1991).

Distribution

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Y. pseudotuberculosis has caused enteritis in farm animals in Australia, Brazil, New Zealand and USA (De Barcellos and De Castro, 1981; Brown and Davis, 1989; Slee and Button, 1990b; Gill, 1996). Infections with Y. pseudotuberculosis serotype O3 have been common in Australian sheep less than 1 year old (Slee and Skilbeck 1992). Occasionally abortions in pregnant cattle, sheep and goats due to Y. pseudotuberculosis have occurred in Australia, Germany, New Zealand, UK and USA (Jerrett and Slee, 1989, Mirle et al., 1993; Welsh and Stair, 1993; Gill, 1996; Otter, 1996).

Infections with Y. enterocolitica bioserotype 5:O2,3 have been found to be common in Australian sheep (Slee and Skilbeck, 1992).Y. enterocolitica has caused severe outbreaks of diarrhoea in young sheep and goat weanlings in New Zealand (McSporrand et al., 1984; Orr et al., 1987). In these outbreaks, Y. enterocolitica bioserotype 5:O2,3 was cultured from a high percentage of affected animals. An outbreak of acute yersiniosis in sheep due to Y. enterocolitica biotype 3 has been reported in China (Bin-Kun et al., 1994).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

ChinaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-GuangxiPresentZheng, 1987
-HunanPresentBin-Kun et al., 1994

North America

CanadaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Prince Edward IslandPresentHariharan and Bryenton, 1990
USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-LouisianaPresentBrown and Davis, 1989
-NebraskaPresentKarbe and Erickson, 1984
-OklahomaPresentWelsh and Stair, 1993

Central America and Caribbean

Trinidad and TobagoPresentAdesiyun et al., 1992

South America

BrazilPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Rio Grande do SulPresentBarcellos and Castro, 1981

Europe

GermanyPresentDee, 1985; Mirle et al., 1993; Ewringmann and Weber, 1995
UKPresentMacleod et al., 1992; Hannam, 1993; Otter, 1996

Oceania

AustraliaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-New South WalesPresentCallinan et al., 1988; Harper et al., 1990; Philbey et al., 1991
-VictoriaPresentSlee and Button, 1990a; Slee and Button, 1990b; Slee et al., 1988; Jerrett and Slee, 1989; Slee and Skilbeck, 1992
New ZealandPresentMcSporran et al., 1984; Orr et al., 1987; Gill, 1996

Pathology

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Yersiniosis has mostly been restricted to the intestinal tract. The contents of the small intestine and colon become fluid. The mucosa of the small intestine and colon has been found to be congested and roughened (Slee and Button, 1990a, 1990b). Mesenteric lymph nodes become enlarged, congested and oedematous (Orr et al., 1987; Callinan et al., 1988; Brown and Davis, 1989; Philbey et al., 1991). In some cases, the liver contains foci of necrosis and has a roughened surface (Callinan et al., 1988; Brown and Davis, 1989; Philbey et al., 1991). Typical histopathological lesions for yersiniosis have been seen in the intestine, especially in the small intestine (Slee et al., 1988; Philbey et al., 1991). Multifocal abscesses have been observed in the superficial lamina propria and Peyer’s patches (Brown and Davis, 1989; Slee and Button, 1990a, 1990b). They have been shown to consist of well defined, dense accumulations of neutrophils in the centre of which bacterial colonies are found. Sometimes mesenteric lymph nodes have shown acute lymphadenitis (Orr et al., 1987). Occasional foci of necrosis and neutrophil infiltration have been present in the liver and kidneys (McSporran et al., 1984; Brown and Davis, 1989; Slee and Button, 1990b).

In an outbreak due to Y. enterocolitica of biotype 3, the affected sheep were emaciated. An increased volume of cloudy fluid was recovered in the thoracic cavity and the lungs contained areas of reddening, necrosis and abscessation. The lungs were covered with thick fibrinous exudates, the heart showed petechial haemorrhages and oedema under the epicardium, and some bleeding into the intestinal tract was evident (Bin-Kun et al., 1994). The skin showed necrosis, lung-tissue was congested, there was a thickening of alveolar septa, oedema fluid in bronchioles and alveoli, oedema in epicardium, and the liver was oedematous (Bin-Kun et al., 1994).

In abortions due to Y. pseudotuberculosis, excess yellow peritoneal and pleural fluid in foetuses have been observed (Jerrett and Slee 1989). Sometimes fibrinous pleurisy and multiple white foci in the lungs of aborted foetuses are present (Hannam 1993). The cotyledons of placenta can become thickened and the intercotyledonary areas can be oedematous (Jerrett and Slee, 1989). The macroscopic appearance has sometimes been highly suspicious of chlamydial enzootic abortions in ewes, with the placenta possessing necrotic cotyledons with thickened inter-cotyledonary areas covered by yellowish discharge interspersed with hyperaemic zones (MacLeod et al., 1992). Histological examinations of the lungs of aborted foetuses have revealed diffuse bronchopneumonia with accumulation of mononuclear cells in bronchioli and alveoli (Jerrett and Slee, 1989). Hannam (1993) reported multifocal, fibrinopurulent, necrotizing pneumonia, multifocal, purulent hepatitis and focal placentitis with some necrosis of individual villi.

Diagnosis

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A diagnosis of Yersiniosis in the absence of demonstrable histological lesions can be based on clinical signs, serological evidence of infection, bacterial isolation and lack of an alternative diagnosis. The main differential diagnoses are Salmonella and coccidiosis when systemic signs of depression, dehydration, pyrexia and recumbence are present in conjunction with profuse, watery diarrhoea containing blood. When chronic diarrhoea with weight loss is observed, the main differential diagnosis is parasitism and isolation of the bacterium is necessary to reach the diagnosis.

The lesions in abortions due to Y. pseudotuberculosis are not specific (Jerrett and Slee, 1989). The macroscopic lesions in ewes have strongly been suggestive of enzootic abortion of ewes, but Ziehl-Neelsen stained smears have been negative for chlamydial elementary bodies (Otter, 1996). It is important that definitive laboratory tests are carried out in order that specific diagnosis can be reached. Y. pseudotuberculosis have been isolated from the liver, lungs and stomach contents of aborted foetuses (Karbe and Ericksonm, 1984; MacLeod et al., 1992; Hannam, 1993; Welsh and Stair, 1993). The criteria for diagnosing bacterial abortion should be the presence of the bacterium in pure or nearly pure cultures of foetal stomach contents and/or tissues, inflammatory lesions in foetal tissues, usually pneumonia and placentitis, and no other more likely cause of abortion.

Yersinia can be isolated from clinical samples of infected animals by direct plating on selective agar plates (Aleksic and Bockemühl, 1999). During acute yersiniosis, Y. enterocolitica or Y. pseudotuberculosis are the dominant bacteria and can be isolated from faeces by direct plating even on conventional enteric media. Cefsulodin-irgasan-novobiocin (CIN) agar is a medium developed for isolation of yersinia. The commercial availability, high selectivity and the high confirmation rate of presumptive isolates makes CIN agar plates convenient to use. The typical red coloured ‘bull’s eye’ colonies, which show urea hydrolysis, can be identified with commercial identification kits. The API 20E system has been widely used for identification of yersinia. Y. enterocolitica is a ubiquitous micro-organism and the majority of isolates recovered from non-human sources are non-pathogenic having no clinical significance. Consequently there is a need to determine the pathogenic significance of the isolates. Several phenotypic tests for identifying pathogenic isolates are available (Aleksic and Bockemühl, 1999). Isolates of Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis should also be characterized by bio- and serotyping to get more information on epidemiology (Aleksic and Bockemühl, 1999).

Yersiniosis seems to be a common infection in young animals with most older animals being immune (Slee et al., 1988). It has been suggested that maternal antibodies may protect animals less than 3 weeks old (Slee et al., 1988).

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Digestive Signs / Anorexia, loss or decreased appetite, not nursing, off feed Sign
Digestive Signs / Anorexia, loss or decreased appetite, not nursing, off feed Sign
Digestive Signs / Bloody stools, faeces, haematochezia Cattle & Buffaloes:Calf,Sheep & Goats:Hogget Sign
Digestive Signs / Diarrhoea Cattle & Buffaloes:Calf,Pigs:Weaner,Sheep & Goats:Lamb,Sheep & Goats:Hogget,Sheep & Goats:Gimmer Sign
Digestive Signs / Mucous, mucoid stools, faeces Sheep & Goats:Hogget Sign
General Signs / Ataxia, incoordination, staggering, falling Sign
General Signs / Fever, pyrexia, hyperthermia Sheep & Goats:Lamb Sign
General Signs / Generalized weakness, paresis, paralysis Sign
General Signs / Generalized weakness, paresis, paralysis Sign
General Signs / Increased mortality in flocks of birds Sign
General Signs / Lack of growth or weight gain, retarded, stunted growth Sign
General Signs / Lameness, stiffness, stilted gait in birds Sign
General Signs / Mammary gland swelling, mass, hypertrophy udder, gynecomastia Sign
General Signs / Sudden death, found dead Cattle & Buffaloes:Calf Sign
General Signs / Underweight, poor condition, thin, emaciated, unthriftiness, ill thrift Sign
General Signs / Underweight, poor condition, thin, emaciated, unthriftiness, ill thrift Sign
General Signs / Weakness, paresis, paralysis of the legs, limbs in birds Sign
General Signs / Weakness, paresis, paralysis, drooping, of the wings Sign
General Signs / Weight loss Cattle & Buffaloes:Calf,Sheep & Goats:Lamb,Sheep & Goats:Hogget,Sheep & Goats:Gimmer Sign
Musculoskeletal Signs / Abnormal hindlimb curvature, angulation, deviation Sheep & Goats:Lamb Sign
Nervous Signs / Dullness, depression, lethargy, depressed, lethargic, listless Sign
Nervous Signs / Dullness, depression, lethargy, depressed, lethargic, listless Sign
Reproductive Signs / Abortion or weak newborns, stillbirth Cattle & Buffaloes:Cow,Sheep & Goats:Mature female Sign
Reproductive Signs / Agalactia, decreased, absent milk production Sign
Reproductive Signs / Mastitis, abnormal milk Sign
Reproductive Signs / Mastitis, abnormal milk Sign
Respiratory Signs / Coughing, coughs Sheep & Goats:Lamb Sign
Respiratory Signs / Dyspnea, difficult, open mouth breathing, grunt, gasping Sign
Respiratory Signs / Dyspnea, difficult, open mouth breathing, grunt, gasping Sign
Respiratory Signs / Increased respiratory rate, polypnea, tachypnea, hyperpnea Sheep & Goats:Lamb Sign
Respiratory Signs / Mucoid nasal discharge, serous, watery Sheep & Goats:Lamb Sign
Respiratory Signs / Purulent nasal discharge Sign
Skin / Integumentary Signs / Rough hair coat, dull, standing on end Sign
Skin / Integumentary Signs / Ruffled, ruffling of the feathers Sign
Skin / Integumentary Signs / Skin crusts, scabs Sign
Skin / Integumentary Signs / Skin erythema, inflammation, redness Sign
Skin / Integumentary Signs / Skin pustules Sheep & Goats:Lamb Sign
Skin / Integumentary Signs / Skin ulcer, erosion, excoriation Sign
Skin / Integumentary Signs / Soiling of the feathers, vent feathers Sign
Skin / Integumentary Signs / Soiling of the vent in birds Sign

Disease Course

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A broad spectrum of clinical signs has been seen in affected herds. Most animals exposed to Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis show no clinically detectable illness, but some can become ill and may die. The most common symptom is diarrhoea, which can be profuse and watery, sometimes mucoid or bloody (McSporran et al. 1984; Callinan et al., 1988; Slee and Button, 1990a, 1990b; Philbey et al., 1991). The diarrhoea can be acute with signs such as depression, dehydration, pyrexia and recumbence (Callinan et al., 1988; Philbey et al., 1991). Some affected animals have died within a few days of developing diarrhoea (McSporran et al., 1984; Orr et al., 1987). More often the diarrhoea is chronic with concurrent weight loss (Slee et al., 1988). An outbreak of acute yersiniosis due to Y. enterocolitica biotype 3 has been described in China (Bin-Kun et al., 1994). Sick sheep cough and have muco-serous nasal discharges, tachypnea and fever. The majority of affected sheep develop pustules on the skin at the angles of the mouth, the base of the ears and the dorsum of the nose. In many instances death occurred 5-7 days after the appearance of disease signs in sheep.

Y. pseudotuberculosis infection has been associated with bovine and ovine abortions (Jerrett and Slee, 1989; Corbel et al., 1990). Ewes that abort have usually shown no clinical signs of disease (Otter, 1996). Abortions mostly occur in late pregnancy, but some abortions have occurred earlier (Corbel et al., 1990; Otter, 1996). The foetuses did not show any distinctive external signs (Corbel et al., 1990). Y. enterocolitica of non-pathogenic biotype 1A has been isolated from aborted sheep foetuses in some cases (Corbel et al., 1990). However, the role of this bacterium as the primary pathogen is still uncertain (Corbel et al., 1992).

Epidemiology

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Epidemiology of yersiniosis in animals is poorly understood. Sporadic outbreaks of enteritis in cattle, pigs, sheep and goats have mostly been reported in Australia and New Zealand (Slee and Skilbeck, 1992; Gill, 1996). Diarrhoea caused by both Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis has been recognized especially in young animals (McSporran et al., 1984; Orr et al., 1987; Harper et al., 1990; Philbey et al., 1991). The size of flocks infected with Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis has been big and the proportion of animals clinically affected has ranged from 1.0 to 90.0% (Philbey et al., 1991). The mortality has usually been low with both bacteria (Philbey et al., 1991). Y. pseudotuberculosis has been recognized as an occasional cause of abortions in pregnant cows and ewes (Karbe and Erickson, 1984; Dee, 1985; MacLeod et al., 1992; Hannam, 1993; Ewringmann and Weber, 1995). The sources of infections have been unknown.

A number of surveys of healthy animals have been carried out to identify the prevalence of Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis. The surveys have shown that these bacteria are relatively common in the intestinal tract of healthy ruminants and that young animals show a high level of sub-clinical infection in the first year of life (Hodges and Carman, 1985; Bullians, 1987). However, most of the isolates recovered from cattle, sheep, goats and poultry faeces have been non-pathogenic (Brewer and Corbel, 1983; Davey et al., 1983; Fukushima et al., 1983; Dee, 1986; Christensen, 1987; Walls and Levett, 1988; Fantasia et al, 1993; Escudero et al., 1996). Y. enterocolitica of serotype O9, which is a human pathogen, has sporadically been isolated from healthy cattle, and can cause false-positive reactions to Brucella abortus (Hawari et al., 1981; Zowghi and Ebadi, 1986). Healthy fattening pigs have been shown to frequently carry pathogenic Y. enterocolitica, especially bioserotype 4:O3 in tonsils and excrete it in faeces (Hariharan et al., 1995; Jurikova et al., 1995; Borie et al, 1997; Fredriksson-Ahomaa et al., 2000a). Isolations of Y. pseudotuberculosis from healthy pigs have also been reported (Fukushima et al., 1989; Sunil and Prabhakaran, 1997).

The role of carrier animals in the transmission of infection has not been elucidated. The presence of infected carriers is probably sufficient to maintain infection in flocks. The infected animals have been shown to excrete large numbers of Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis in their faeces, which may cause heavy environmental contamination and so rapid exposure of susceptible animals (Slee et al., 1988). Alternative reservoir hosts or mechanical carriers of Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis may be rodents (Aldova et al., 1980; Fukushima et al., 1990; Salamah, 1994), wild mammals (Shayegani et al., 1986; Fukushima and Gomyoda, 1991; Suzuki et al., 1995; Wuthe et al., 1995) and wild birds (Fukushima and Gomyoda 1991, Cork et al. 1995). Contamination of hay, grain and water with faeces or carcasses from wild animals infected with Yersinia may also represent a source of infection (Inoue et al., 1991; Philbey et al., 1991).

Zoonoses and Food Safety

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Yersiniosis is a zoonootic disease, capable of being transmitted from infected animals to man. Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis can cause gastrointestinal symptoms ranging from mild self-limited diarrhoea to acute mesenteric lymphadenitis evoking appendicitis (Smego et al., 1999). Sometimes long-term sequelae, including arthritis, uveitis, erythema nodosum and nephritis will occur. Y. enterocolitica is the most common cause of yersiniosis in humans, especially in young children. The human pathogenic Y. enterocolitica strains belong mostly to bioserotypes 1B:O8, 2:O5, 27, 2:O9 and 4:O3 (Robins-Browne, 1997). Infections caused by Y. pseudotuberculosis are rare in humans. Y. pseudotuberculosis strains isolated from humans have belonged to serotypes 1-5 (Fukushima et al., 1994).

The epidemiology of human yersiniosis is complex and poorly understood (Ostroff, 1995). Most cases of human yersiniosis occur sporadically without an apparent source (Kapperud, 1991; Smego et al., 1999). Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis are thought to be significant foodborne pathogens, even though pathogenic isolates have very seldom been recovered from foods (Boer, 1995). Pigs have been shown to be a major reservoir for human pathogenic strains of bioserotype 4:O3 (Kapperud, 1991; Boer, 1995; Fredriksson-Ahomaa et al., 2000). Transmission routes from pigs to humans have not yet been proven. There is indirect evidence that food, particularly pork, is an important link between swine reservoirs and human infections. In case-control studies, a correlation has been shown between consumption of raw or undercooked pork and the prevalence of yersiniosis (Tauxe et al., 1987; Ostroff et al., 1994).

Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis are psychotrophic bacteria, which can multiply during the cold chain. These bacteria have an ability to replicate at temperatures between 0 and 40°C (Schiemann, 1989). They withstand freezing and survive in frozen food for extended periods even after repeated freezing and thawing, but they are susceptible to heat treatment (Toora et al., 1982). Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis are alkalotolerant and can grow over a pH range from 4 to 10. The ability to survive the high acidity of some foods and the passage through the stomach suggests that these bacteria are relatively acid resistant (Koning-Ward and Robins-Browne, 1995). Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis are facultatively anaerobic bacteria, which can grow well in anaerobic conditions and modified atmosphere (Schiemann, 1989). Y. enterocolitica has been shown to grow on meat when packaged in vacuum or in modified atmosphere and stored at 5°C (Bodnaruk and Draughon, 1998).

Fattening pigs have been shown to carry pathogenic Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis in tonsils and excrete it in faeces (Fukushima et al., 1989). Yersinia can easily be transferred from the oral cavity and faeces to other parts of the carcass and the environment during slaughter (Fukushima et al., 1989; Fredriksson-Ahomaa et al., 2000b). The meat inspection procedure will not reveal the presence of Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis, since these infections mostly are present without any apparent microscopic lesions. Swine slaughter is an open process with many opportunities for contamination of the carcass with Yersinia and the process does not contain any point where hazard can be completely eliminated (Borch et al., 1996). Yersinia contamination from the oral cavity could largely be avoided if the head, including the tonsils and tongue, was removed before evisceration and was handled separately (Fredriksson-Ahomaa et al., 2000b). In addition, the spread of Yersinia could be considerably reduced by sealing off the rectum with a plastic bag immediately after it has been freed (Nesbakken et al., 1994).

Cross-contamination from raw meat to heat-treated products must be avoided in meat-processing plants, retail shops and kitchens. Knives, equipment, machines and working surfaces that have been in contact with raw meat must be cleaned and disinfected before being used for handling other foods.

Disease Treatment

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Intestinal infections with Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis are mostly self-limited and need no specific antibiotic treatment. Tetracycline’s have been shown to be effective for treating cattle, sheep and pigs infected with both Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis. Diarrhoea stopped in goat weanlings within 1-2 days after parenteral tetracycline. There was no apparent effect after oral treatment with sulpha-streptomycin-neomycin suspension (Orr et al., 1987). Long-acting tetracycline was effective in hoggets (McSporran et al., 1984). Affected sheep treated with chloramphenicol and streptomycin or with streptomycin and sulphamethoaxazole recovered, while sheep treated with penicillin-G died (Bin-Kun et al. 1994). In contrast to Y. pseudotuberculosis, most of Y. enterocolitica strains produce ß-lactamases, which account for resistance to penicillin, ampicillin, cephalotin and carbenicillin (Aleksic and Bockemühl, 1999). Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis strains isolated from sick animals have mostly been sensitive in vitro to chloramphenicol, neomycin, streptomycin and tetracycline (Callinan et al., 1988; Philbey et al., 1991; Adesiyun et al., 1992). However, in vitro antibacterial activity does not necessarily reflect in vivo efficacy.

Prevention and Control

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Prevention of yersiniosis is difficult because of the obscure epidemiology. Changes in husbandry, poor feeding, high stock density and sudden change in climatic conditions have been described as predisposing factors to yersiniosis (McSporran et al., 1984; Slee and Skilbeck, 1992). It has also been suggested that gastrointestinal nematodiasis and coccidiosis could predispose to yersiniosis (Philbey et al., 1991).

Formalin killed vaccine (Yersiniavax), which contains Y. pseudotuberculosis serotypes O1, O2 and O3 has been developed for deer. It protects calves against clinical yersiniosis if two doses of vaccine are given 3 to 4 weeks apart. Vaccination may not be successful in the face of a severe challenge but may reduce the severity of the outbreak (Gill, 1996).

References

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Adesiyun AA; Kaminjolo JS; Loregnard R, 1992. Frequency of isolation of Yersinia enterocolitica from livestock in Trinidad. Veterinary Record, 131(22):516; 12 ref.

Aldova E, Skorkovsky B et al. , 1980. On the ecology of Yersinia enterocolitica O3. Yersinia in synanthropic animals. Zentralblatt fur Bakteriologie, 246A(3):344-352.

Aleksic S; Bockemühl; J, 1999. Yersinia and other Enterobacteriaceae. In: Murray PR, Baron EJ, Pfaller MA, Tenover FC, Yolken RH, ed. Manual of Clinical Microbiology. Washington, DC, USA: ASM Press, 483-496.

Arends JP; Zanen HC, 1988. Meningitis caused by Streptococcus suis in humans. Reviews of Infectious Diseases, 10(1):131-137; 44 ref.

Barcellos DESNde; Castro AFPde, 1981. Isolation of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis from diarrhoea in pigs. British Veterinary Journal, 137(1):95-96.

Bercovoer H; Mollaret HH, 1984. Genus XIV. Yersinia. In: Krieg NR, ed. Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology. Vol. 1. Williams and Wilkins Company, 498-506.

Bin-Kun H; De-Sheng X; Hong-Bi O; Shi-Xiang Z; Slee KJ, 1994. Yersiniosis in sheep due to Yersinia enterocolitica. British Veterinary Journal, 150(5):473-479; 10 ref.

Bodnaruk PW; Draughon FA, 1998. Effect of packaging atmosphere and pH on the virulence and growth of Yersinia enterocolitica on pork stored at 4° C. Food Microbiology, 15:129-136.

Boer Ede, 1995. Isolation of Yersinia enterocolitica from foods. Culture media for food microbiology., 219-228; [Progress in Industrial Microbiology vol. 34]; 3 pages of ref.

Borch E; Nesbakken T; Christensen H, 1996. Hazard identification in swine slaughter with respect to foodborne bacteria. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 30(1/2):9-25; 61 ref.

Borie CF; Jara MA; Sánchez ML; San Martín B; Arellano C; Martínez J; Prado V, 1997. Isolation and characterization of Yersinia enterocolitica from pigs and cattle in Chile. Journal of Veterinary Medicine. Series B, 44(6):347-354; 30 ref.

Brewer RA; Corbel MJ, 1983. Characterisation of Yersinia enterocolitica strains isolated from cattle, sheep and pigs in the United Kingdom. Journal of Hygiene, 90(3):425-433.

Brown CC; Davis FN, 1989. Yersinia pseudotuberculosis enteritis in four calves. Journal of Comparative Pathology, 101(4):463-466; 11 ref.

Bullians JA, 1987. Yersinia species infection of lambs and cull cows at an abattoir. New Zealand Veterinary Journal, 35(5):65-67; [2 tab.]; 45 ref.

Callinan RB; Cook RW; Boulton JG; Fraser GC; Unger DB, 1988. Enterocolitis in cattle associated with Yersinia pseudotuberculosis infection. Australian Veterinary Journal, 65(1):8-11; 37 ref.

Christensen SG, 1987. The Yersinia enterocolitica situation in Denmark. Contributions to Microbiology and Immunology, 9:93-97.

Corbel MJ; Brewer RA; Hunter D, 1990. Characterisation of Yersinia enterocolitica strains associated with ovine abortion. Veterinary Record, 127(21):526-527; 14 ref.

Corbel MJ; Ellis B; Richardson C; Bradley R, 1992. Experimental Yersinia enterocolitica placentitis in sheep. British Veterinary Journal, 148(4):339-349; 28 ref.

Cork SC; Marshall RB; Madie P; Fenwick SG, 1995. The role of wild birds and the environment in the epidemiology of Yersiniae in New Zealand. New Zealand Veterinary Journal, 43(5):169-174; 42 ref.

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