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Journal of Pathogens
Volume 2011, Article ID 429069, 10 pages
Review Article

Yersinia enterocolitica: Mode of Transmission, Molecular Insights of Virulence, and Pathogenesis of Infection

1Department of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh
2Department of Microbiology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh
3Central Tuber Crops Research Institute, Bhubaneswar, India
4Centre International de Recherche en Agronomie pour le Developpement (CIRAD), Montpellier, France

Received 19 April 2011; Revised 28 May 2011; Accepted 5 June 2011

Academic Editor: Latiful Bari

Copyright © 2011 Yeasmin Sabina 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.


Although Yersinia enterocolitica is usually transmitted through contaminated food and untreated water, occasional transmission such as human-to-human, animal-to-human and blood transfusion associated transmission have also identified in human disease. Of the six Y. enterocolitica biotypes, the virulence of the pathogenic biotypes, namely, 1B and 2–5 is attributed to the presence of a highly conserved 70-kb virulence plasmid, termed pYV/pCD and certain chromosomal genes. Some biotype 1A strains, despite lacking virulence plasmid (pYV) and traditional chromosomal virulence genes, are isolated frequently from humans with gastrointestinal diseases similar to that produced by isolates belonging known pathogenic biotypes. Y. enterocolitica pathogenic biotypes have evolved two major properties: the ability to penetrate the intestinal wall, which is thought to be controlled by plasmid genes, and the production of heat-stable enterotoxin, which is controlled by chromosomal genes.