Submitted to: Research Workers in Animal Diseases Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/5/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Pigs are the only animal reservoir for human pathogenic strains of Yersinia enterocolitica (YE). Our objectives were to (a) compare bacteriological culture with PCR-based protocols for detecting pathogenic strains of YE and (b) to use these assays to screen hogs and pork products for YE. Bacteriological protocols were compared with both conventional multiplex and TaqMan 5' nuclease polymerase chain reactions (PCR). We used these assays to determine if lairage of hogs increases the fecal shedding, lymph node, and carcass prevalence of YE. YE prevalence was compared in lairaged hogs (n=150) versus hogs transported directly from the farm to slaughter (n=150). By bacteriological culture, YE was not detected in feces, lymph nodes, or carcasses of hogs. To date conventional multiplex PCR indicated 12% of hogs were positive. By fluorogenic detection, 56% of hogs were positive for YE. Next, we screened ground pork (n=100) and chitterlings (n=150). By standard culture, YE was detected in chitterlings (6%) but no in ground pork (0%). By multiplex PCR, YE was identified in ground pork (48%) and chitterlings(52%). Fluorogenic-based PCR identified YE in ground pork (81%) and chitterlings (85%). The data suggests that YE is not detected in hogs and pork using culture methods. In contrast, the 5' nuclease PCR assay appears to be several-fold more sensitive than conventional PCR in the detection of virulent YE.