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Journal of Pathogens
Volume 2011, Article ID 420732, 13 pages
Review Article

Behavior of Yersinia enterocolitica in Foods

1Food Analysis Research Laboratory Center for Advanced Research in Sciences, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh
2Department of Microbiology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh
3Division of Marine Life Science, Research Faculty of Fisheries Science, Hokkaido University, 3-1-1, Minato-cho, Hakodate, Hokkaido 041-8611, Japan
4Food Safety Intervention Technologies, Eastern Regional Research Center, USDA, 600 East Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, PA 19038, USA

Received 16 April 2011; Revised 14 July 2011; Accepted 20 July 2011

Academic Editor: Ramesh C. Ray

Copyright © 2011 Md. Latiful Bari et al. 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 are ubiquitous, being isolated frequently from soil, water, animals, and a variety of foods. They comprise a biochemically heterogeneous group that can survive and grow at refrigeration temperatures. The ability to propagate at refrigeration temperatures is of considerable significance in food hygiene. Virulent strains of Yersinia invade mammalian cells such as HeLa cells in tissue culture. Two chromosomal genes, inv and ail, were identified for cell invasion of mammalian. The pathogen can cause diarrhoea, appendicitis and post-infection arthritis may occur in a small proportion of cases. The most common transmission route of pathogenic Y. enterocolitica is thought to be fecal-oral via contaminated food. Direct person-to-person contact is rare. Occasionally, pathogenic Y. enterocolitica has been detected in vegetables and environmental water; thus, vegetables and untreated water are also potential sources of human yersiniosis. However, the isolation rates of pathogenic Y. enterocolitica have been low, which may be due to the limited sensitivity of the detection methods. To identify other possible transmission vehicles, different food items should be studied more extensively. Many factors related to the epidemiology of Y. enterocolitica, such as sources, transmission routes, and predominating genotypes remain obscure because of the low sensitivity of detection methods.