Molecular epidemiology of Yersinia enterocolitica of porcine origin and carriage of virulence genes

Yersinia enterocolitica is an important foodborne pathogen known to cause gastrointestinal problems with symptoms ranging from acute enteritis with fever to occasionally bloody watery diarrhea, particularly in children (Bottone, 1997). It is estimated to cause 96,000 cases of human disease annually in the United States (Mead et al., 1999). Swine are recognized as major reservoir and potential source of pathogenic Y. enterocolitica to humans. This study provides the first data for Yersinia enterocolitica comparing prevalence and antimicrobial resistance between swine exposed to antimicrobials and those that are not given antimicrobials. In addition, it evaluates the genetic diversity of Y. enterocolitica.                                   

Goals: Amplification    Melting point

  • To characterize virulence determinants and  occurrence of strains that are of pathogenic significance to humans
  • To compare the genetic diversity of Y. enterocolitica recovered from different production systems and geographic locations  


Daniel A. Tadesse (PhD Student)
Wondwossen A. Gebreyes (Principle Investigator)

Other Collaborators:

Morgan Morrow (North Carolina State University)
Peter Bahnson (University of Wisconsin at Madison)
Julie Funk (Michigan State University)


USDA grant 2002-51110-01508