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Journal of Pathogens
Volume 2013, Article ID 521510, 8 pages
Research Article

Genotypic Characterization of Yersinia enterocolitica Biotype 4/O:3 Isolates from Pigs and Slaughterhouses Using SE-AFLP, ERIC-PCR, and PFGE

1Departamento de Medicina Veterinária Preventiva e Saúde Animal, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia, Universidade de São Paulo, Avenida Prof. Dr. Orlando Marques de Paiva 87, Butantã, 05508-270 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
2Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária, Faculdades Metropolitanas Unidas (FMU), Rua Ministro Nelson Hungria 541, 05690-050 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
3Laboratório de Saúde Pública, Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Universidade de São Paulo, Avenida Dr. Arnaldo 715, 01246-904 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
4Laboratório de Zoonoses Bacterianas, Fundação Instituto Oswaldo Cruz (FIOCRUZ), Avenida Brasil 4365, 21045-900 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

Received 27 February 2013; Revised 9 May 2013; Accepted 13 May 2013

Academic Editor: Hin-Chung Wong

Copyright © 2013 Renata Paixão 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 is a foodborne pathogen that causes illness in humans and animals. The biotype 4/O:3 has been commonly associated with yersiniosis and is characterized by the presence of chromosomal and extra-chromosomal virulence genes. Molecular typing methods have been successfully used to characterize Y. enterocolitica genetic heterogeneity and to study the epidemiology of the bacteria from different origins. In this study, 320 Y. enterocolitica biotype 4/O:3 isolates originating in pigs and slaughterhouses were characterized according to the virulence profile, and 61 isolates were typified through SE-AFLP, ERIC-PCR, and PFGE techniques. The majority of the isolates originated from pigs, and the predominant virulence profile was ail+ virF+ rfbC+ ystA+, representing 83.4% of the tested isolates. All of the Y. enterocolitica 4/O:3 isolates were positive for at least ystA gene. The SE-AFLP and ERIC-PCR patterns were highly homogeneous. The SE-AFLP was more discriminative than the ERIC-PCR and tended to cluster isolates according to the slaughterhouse. Despite the limited genetic diversity of Y. enterocolitica 4/O:3, PFGE was shown to be the most discriminative technique considering one band of difference. Fattening pigs proved to be an important reservoir of Y. enterocolitica biotype 4/O:3 carrying virulence genes.