Yersiniosis – a new challenge for contemporary medicine

Koło Naukowe przy Katedrze i Zakładzie Epidemiologii, Uniwersytet Medyczny w Lublinie
Katedra i Zakład Epidemiologii, Uniwersytet Medyczny w Lublinie
MONZ 2012;18(3):257–260
[i]Yersinia enterocolitica[/i] is a common bacterial species which has been relatively recently recognized. The first strains of this bacterium were isolated in the 60s of the 20th century (in comparison, [i]Salmonella spp.[/i] was detected as long ago as the 80s of the 19th century) although its pathogenicity was discovered 20 years later. The name for the genus Yersinia was derived from the French bacteriologist [i]Alexander[/i] Yersin. This pathogen is a gram-negative coccobacillus-shaped germ. 6 biotypes and 57 serotypes have been identified. The most common type is a serotype O:3. The aim of the study was to attract the attention of physicians, especially family practitioners, to the occurrence of Yersinia enterocolitica infections among the Polish population. A review of 40 literature reports was performed. The incubation time varies from 1-11 days. The symptoms of the disease are non-specific and include nausea, abdominal pain or diarrhoea, which may be mistaken for the symptoms of [i]E. coli[/i] infection, lactose intolerance, or inflammation of the vermiform appendix. The signs suggesting appendicitis are very common among adolescents. The diagnostic methods for detecting the bacterium include a bacterial culture on a CIN agar, serological tests, or endoscopy, with the taking of specimens for histopathological tests. Endoscopic examination allows an unequivocal differentiation between yersiniosis and Crohn›s disease. Non-specific enteritis affects the total thickness of the gastrointestinal tract wall, whereas in [i]Yersinia enterocolitica[/i] infection the lesions are located exclusively in the mucous membrane. The infection is treated by application of antibiotic therapy adjusted to the clinical course of infection. Key words: Yersinia infections, Yersinia enterocolitca, sepsis