Submitted to: National Provisioner Magazine
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/7/2007
Publication Date: 9/7/2007
Citation: Wesley, I.V. Yersinia enterocolitica: an important human foodborne pathogen. National Provisioner Magazine. p. 108.
Technical Abstract: Yersinia enterocolitica is a Gram-negative microbe of public health importance and is under national FoodNet surveillance in the United States. The majority of human yersiniosis cases are foodborne. Consumption of dairy products (milk, ice cream), water, vegetables (tofu), and pork have been linked to human outbreaks. Consumption of contaminated raw/undercooked pork is a major risk factor for human infection. Pigs are the only significant animal reservoir of human pathogenic strains. During NAHMS Swine 2000 we detected the ail virulence gene, which indicates potential to cause human infections, in 12.4% of pig fecal (345 of 2,793) and 10% of tonsil (122 of 1,218) samples from 53.3% (41 of 77) of hog production sites. “DNA fingerprinting” of human clinical isolates has charted the potential route of transmission between hogs, pork, and consumers. In summary, reduction of Yersinia enterocolitica is of importance to the pork producer because: (1) Pigs are the major animal reservoir of strains pathogenic to humans; (2) Epidemiology links human yersiniosis to consumption of raw/undercooked pork; and (3) It is the only bacterial foodborne pathogens under FoodNet surveillance directly linked to pigs and pork.