Yersinia enterocolitica

Like Listeria, Y. enterocolitica can reproduce at refrigeration temperatures. It is often missed in the laboratory because it requires special media and grows best at 25 °C. Many strains are nonpatho-genic, but it is difficult to predict which strains are pathogenic and which not using current laboratory methods, although serotypes 3, 8, and 9 are most commonly associated with illness. The organism is found in many pets and other animals, and it may survive pasteurization, especially high-temperature/ short-time milk treatment. Outbreaks have been associated with raw milk and dairy products. Under-cooked pork and tofu have also caused outbreaks, and in one incident a caregiver who handled pork sausages passed the infection on to some infants. These infections appear to be more common in Scandinavia than elsewhere. The incubation period is 24-48 h to 5 days. Infants and young children are most often affected. Clinical features are characteristically fever and profuse watery diarrhea, but it may mimic acute appendicitis, risking an unnecessary operation. Occasionally, in vulnerable patients, septicaemia may occur.

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