Yersiniosis – zoonotic foodborne disease of relevance to public health

Department of Epizootiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med 2015;22(3):397–402
Introduction. [i]Y. enterocolitica[/i] is the causative agent of yersiniosis – a foodborne zoonosis with substantial importance to public health. [i]Y. enterocolitica[/i] is widespread in the environment and animal populations, posing a potential source of infection to humans. Objective. Presentation of yersiniosis as a zoonotic foodborne disease of relevance to public health. State of knowledge. Swine play an important role as a reservoir of [i]Y. enterocolitica[/i] and insufficiently thermally processed pork is the main source of infection to humans. The correlation between strains isolated from pigs and from clinical cases of human yersiniosis has been sufficiently proven. Yersiniosis usually appears with gastrointestinal disturbances in children, whereas in adults it manifests in a pseudo-appendix form. The extra-enteric form of yersiniosis is rare. Classical bacteriological methods used for classifying [i]Y. enterocolitica[/i] as pathogenic does not take into account the new aspects of the pathogenesis of yersiniosis. The examples are biotype 1A strains, commonly regarded as non-pathogenic, although they are increasingly often isolated from clinical cases of yersiniosis. Molecular methods seem much more effective and accurate in the diagnostic. New diagnostic tools such as real-time PCR, allows not only qualitative examination, but also quantitative evaluation of genes expression level, or single nucleotide polymorphism detection. Conclusions. Yersiniosis is an important food-borne zoonosis with wide range of clinical symptoms. Considering the fact that pork is the main source of infection for humans, public information campaigns seems to be an important element of the preventive measures against [i]Y. enterocolitica[/i] infections.
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