Yersinia enterocolitica
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 A04.6, A04.6
ICD-9-CM 008.44
DiseasesDB 14218
eMedicine article/970186
MeSH D015009

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. The infection by Y. enterocolitica is also known as pseudotuberculosis.[1] Yersiniosis is mentioned as a specific zoonotic disease to prevent outbreaks in European Council Directive 92/117/EEC.[2]

Infection with Y. enterocolitica occurs most often in young children. 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.[3]

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


Infection with Y. enterocolitica can cause a variety of symptoms depending on the age of the person infected, therefore it's often referred to as "monkey of diseases". 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 septicemia, acute arthritis[1] or the spread of bacteria to the bloodstream (bacteremia) can occur.


Treatment for gastroenteritis due to Y. enterocolitica is not needed in the majority of cases. Severe infections with systemic involvemenet (sepsis and 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. ^ a b
  2. ^ European Council Directive 92/117/EEC
  3. ^
  4. ^ Torok E. Oxford MHandbook of Infect Dis and Microbiol, 2009
  5. ^