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Can Vet J. 2000 May;41(5):383-7.

Epidemiological study of Yersinia enterocolitica in swine herds in Québec.

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Département de pathologie et microbiologie, Faculté de médecine vétérinaire, Université de Montréal, St-Hyacinthe, Québec, Canada.


The objectives of this study were the identification of the different contamination sources of Yersinia enterocolitica, as well as the determination of the prevalence and the distribution of the different genotypes in swine herds. The owners of 20 farms, located in the Richelieu-Yamaska region, agreed to participate in the study. Each farm was visited a minimum of 5 times between May and October 1997, and, at each visit, 20 environmental and 10 fecal samples were collected. Yersinia enterocolitica isolates were identified, serotyped, and submitted to a genetic characterization by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. The correlation coefficient (0.61) between prevalence in environment and in feces was significant (P = 0.004). Among the 153 positive samples, 93.5% belonged to serotype 0:3. The comparison of PFGE profiles revealed that all environmental Y. enterocolitica isolates had a profile identical to that of isolates recovered in feces from the corresponding farms. Also, when the genetic profiles of isolates recovered from feces collected at the first visit were compared with the profiles of isolates obtained from the subsequent visits, the same profile was observed on every farm. We concluded that environment does not represent the main source of contamination of swine by Y. enterocolitica and that, in most instances, the same strain persists in a barn from one production lot to another.

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