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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume 1, Issue 2, Pages 57-60

Spontaneous Yersinia enterocolitica Septicemia in a Patient with Iron Overload

Steven S Larigakis, Michael A Noble, and Terence G Sparling

University Hospital and the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Received 9 March 1990; Accepted 28 May 1990

Copyright © 1990 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Yersinia enterocolitica septicemia is described in a patient with transfusional iron overload and a myelodysplastic syndrome. The organism was biotype 1 serotype 0:5,27 and carried a virulence-encoding plasmid. It was calcium-dependent, autoagglutinating and virulent to orally challenged mice, but not resistant to the bacteriocidal activity of serum. The patient had depressed neutrophil chemotaxis and bactericidal activity. In this case, both host and microbial factors were present to select out this particular bacteremic disease. Patients with iron overload states should be recognized as compromised hosts and potentially susceptible to spontaneous sepsis due to Y enterocolitica.