Yersinia enterocolitica of porcine origin: Carriage of virulence genes and genotypic diversity

Daniel A. Tadesse, Peter B. Bahnson, Julie A. Funk, W. E.Morgan Morrow, Melanie J. Abley, Valeria A. Ponte, Siddhartha Thakur, Thomas Wittum, Fred J. Degraves, Paivi J. Rajala-Schultz, Wondwossen A. Gebreyes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Yersinia enterocolitica is an important foodborne pathogen, and pigs are recognized as a major reservoir and potential source of pathogenic strains to humans. A total of 172 Y. enterocolitica recovered from conventional and antimicrobial-free pig production systems from different geographic regions (North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa) were investigated to determine their pathogenic significance to humans. Phenotypic and genotypic diversity of the isolates was assessed using antibiogram, serogrouping, and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP). Carriage of chromosomal and plasmid-borne virulence genes were investigated using polymerase chain reaction. A total of 12 antimicrobial resistance patterns were identified. More than two-thirds (67.4%) of Y. enterocolitica were pan-susceptible, and 27.9% were resistant against β-lactams. The most predominant serogroup was O:3 (43%), followed by O:5 (25.6%) and O:9 (4.1%). Twenty-two of 172 (12.8%) isolates were found to carry Yersinia adhesion A (yadA), a virulence gene encoded on the Yersinia virulence plasmid. Sixty-nine (40.1%) isolates were found to carry ail gene. The ystA and ystB genes were detected in 77% and 26.2% of the strains, respectively. AFLP genotyping of isolates showed wide genotypic diversity and were grouped into nine clades with an overall genotypic similarity of 66.8-99.3%. AFLP analysis revealed that isolates from the same production system showed clonal relatedness, while more than one genotype of Y. enterocolitica circulates within a farm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-86
Number of pages7
JournalFoodborne Pathogens and Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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