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N Z Vet J. 1995 Oct;43(5):169-74.

The role of wild birds and the environment in the epidemiology of Yersiniae in New Zealand.

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Department of Veterinary Pathology and Public Health, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.


A survey was carried out to determine the prevalence of Yersiniae in wild passerines in the lower half of the North island of New Zealand over a period of 12 months. Samples of soil, water and foliage were also collected. Out of a total of 1370 avian samples, only two strains of Y. pseudotuberculosis were isolated and a total of 98 strains of environmental yersiniae were identified, including Y. enterocolitica biotype 1a, Y. frederiksenii, Y. kristensenii and Y. intermedia. No strains of Y. pseudotuberculosis were isolated from 1032 non-avian samples collected, which included 100 samples taken from wild mammals. From the non-avian samples, 51 strains of environmental Yersiniae were identified, of which the relative prevalence of Yersinia enterocolitica, biotype 1a, Y. frederiksenii, Y. kristensenii and Y. intermedia was similar to that in the rural passerines. The prevalence of Yersiniae in soil samples was greater in rural areas than in urban areas of the survey region. In both rural and urban passerine populations, the prevalence of Yersiniae was greater in the winter and early summer than at other times of the year.

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