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Int J Food Microbiol. 2008 Jul 31;125(3):259-66. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2008.04.016. Epub 2008 Apr 30.

O:8 serotype Yersinia enterocolitica strains in China.

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National Institute for Communicable Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 102206, Beijing, China.


Serotypes O:3, O:8 and O:9 Yersinia enterocolitica strains carrying virulence determinants are common pathogens causing human infections. In many years of surveillance in China for Y. enterocolitica, no pathogenic O:8 strains have been found where the isolated O:8 serotypes lacked the major virulence genes and in contrast to O:3 and O:9 strains, none of the O:8 isolates were from humans. These O:8 isolates lack ail, ystA, yadA and virF genes but possess the ystB gene and all belong to Biotype 1A. These O:8 strains did not kill mice and could protect immunized mice against challenge with a pathogenic O:8 strain. Compared to the Chinese pathogenic O:3 and O:9 strains which have similar pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns, the 39 Chinese O:8 animal and food isolates were different from the pathogenic O:8 reference strains. This suggests the O:8 strains lacking virulence determinants may not disseminate rapidly in humans and are maintained in animal reservoirs; and therefore exhibit higher variance and divergence from the virulent type.

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