Symptoms include diarrhea, the most common clinical manifestation of this infection; diarrhea may be bloody in severe cases, low-grade fever, abdominal pain - may localize to the right lower quadrant, vomiting - present in approximately 15-40% of cases.
As with other members of the genus Yersinia, Y enterocolitica is an invasive organism that appears to cause disease by tissue destruction. Researchers have elucidated several potential pathogenic properties, including chromosomally mediated effects (eg, attachment to tissue culture, production of enterotoxin) and plasmid-mediated mechanisms (eg, production of Vw antigens, calcium dependency for growth, autoagglutination).
Y enterocolitica has been isolated in patients in many countries worldwide, but the infection appears to occur predominantly in cooler climates, being much more common in northern Europe, Scandinavia, and Japan. Most isolates reported from Canada and Europe are O:3 and O:9 serotypes. The O:3 serotype is also common in Japan. Isolation of Y enterocolitica in developing countries is uncommon.