An infectious disease that is caused by a yersinia (Y. enterocolitica) transmitted chiefly in contaminated water and food or raw or undercooked pork products and that is marked especially by fever, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. The infection by Y. enterocolitica is also known as pseudotuberculosis. The infection is thought to be contracted through the consumption of undercooked meat products, unpasteurized milk, or water contaminated by the bacteria.
Symptoms: Common symptoms in children are fever, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, which is often bloody. Symptoms typically develop 4 to 7 days after exposure and may last 1 to 3 weeks or longer. In older children and adults, right-sided abdominal pain and fever may be the predominant symptoms, and may be confused with appendicitis.
Diagnosis: The following tests can be used in the diagnosis of Y enterocolitica infection: Stool culture - This is the best way to confirm a diagnosis of Y enterocolitica [2, 3] ; the culture result is usually positive within 2 weeks of onset of disease Tube agglutination. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Radioimmunoassays. Imaging studies - Ultrasonography or computed tomography (CT) scanning may be useful in delineating true appendicitis from pseudoappendicitis. Colonoscopy - Findings may vary and are relatively nonspecific. Joint aspiration in cases of Yersinia- associated reactive arthropathy.
Treament: Abscesses may require surgical drainage. Surgical exploration may be warranted if appendicitis cannot be safely ruled out. Laparotomy findings in Y enterocolitica infection usually include mesenteric lymphadenitis and terminal ileitis, with a healthy appendix.
Epidemology: Many factors related to the epidemiology of Y. enterocolitica, such as human and nonhuman sources, and contamination routes in foods remain obscure in developing countries and tropical regions of developed countries. Additionally, epidemiological data on the prevalence of pathogenic Y. enterocolitica in animals in developed countries are missing as the reporting of this pathogen in animals is not mandatory in most European countries.