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J Food Prot. 2010 Oct;73(10):1785-92.

Detection, semiquantitative enumeration, and antimicrobial susceptibility of Yersinia enterocolitica in pork and chicken meats in Italy.

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Animal Health Department, Section of Food Hygiene, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Parma, Via del Taglio 10, 43126 Parma, Italy.


Yersinia enterocolitica is recognized as an etiological agent of gastroenteritis, lymphadenitis, and chronic sequelae. During 2006 and 2007, 205 samples (125 pork and 80 chicken meats) were collected in Italy and tested for detection and most-probable-number (MPN) enumeration of Y. enterocolitica organisms. The microorganism was isolated from 45 samples (21.9%): 19 (15.2%) pork samples and 26 (32.5%) chicken samples. Y. enterocolitica MPN contamination levels were low, ranging from 0.30 to 1.50/g. Most (94.4%) Y. enterocolitica strains were biotype 1A (serotypes O:3; O:5; O:6,30; O:6,30-6,31; O:7,8-8-8,19; O:8; O:9; O:25,35; O:36; and O nontypeable), and 5.6% of the isolates were bioserotype 2/O:9. All isolates were tested for yadA, ail, inv, ystA, and ystB virulence sequences. The yadA gene was detected in two strains (3.7%) isolated from chicken samples: one Y. enterocolitica 2/O:9 yadA+ ail+ ystA+, and one Y. enterocolitica 1A/O:7,8-8-8,19 yadA+ inv+ ystB+. Two (3.7%) 2/O:9 strains, isolated from pork products, were ail+ ystA+. Most biotype 1A strains were ystB+ (84.3%) and inv+ (39.2%). All strains were sensitive to cefotaxime, ciprofloxacin, chloramphenicol, nalidixic acid, streptomycin, sulfonamide, tetracycline, trimethoprim, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Resistance to gentamicin and aztreonam was observed in 1.9% of the isolates. High levels of resistance were detected toward amoxicillin-clavulanic acid (27.8%), ampicillin (75.9%), and erythromycin (100%). The authors hypothesize that Y. enterocolitica pathogenic biotypes are rather uncommon in foods when compared with their isolation rates from animal sources and that chicken meat could be contaminated as well as pig meat and its derived products.

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