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Epidemiol Infect. 1994 Feb;112(1):133-41.

Sources of sporadic Yersinia enterocolitica infections in Norway: a prospective case-control study.

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Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.


Yersinia enterocolitica is a recognized cause of gastroenteritis in northern Europe. During October 1988-January 1990, a prospective case-control study was performed to address risk factors associated with sporadic Y. enterocolitica infections in southeastern Norway. Sixty-seven case-patients (mean age 23.4 years, range 8 months-88 years) and 132 age-, sex- and geographically-matched controls were enrolled in the study. Multivariate analysis of the data showed that persons with Y. enterocolitica infection reported having eaten significantly more pork items (3.79 v. 2.30 meals, P = 0.02) and sausage (2.84 v. 2.20 meals, P = 0.03) in the 2 weeks before illness onset than their matched controls; only one patient had eaten raw pork. Patients were also more likely than controls to report a preference for eating meat prepared raw or rare (47 v. 27%, P = 0.01), and to report drinking untreated water (39 v. 25%, P = 0.01) in the 2 weeks before illness onset. Each of these factors was independently associated with disease, suggesting a link between yersiniosis and consumption of undercooked pork and sausage products and untreated water. Efforts should be directed towards developing techniques to reduce Y. enterocolitica contamination of pork and educating consumers about (1) proper handling and preparation of pork items and (2) the hazards of drinking untreated water.

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