Yersinia enterocolitica biovar 1A: An underappreciated potential pathogen in the food chain

Raphaёlle Palau, Samuel J. Bloomfield, Claire Jenkins, David R. Greig, Frieda Jorgensen, Alison E. Mather

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Yersinia enterocolitica is an underreported cause of foodborne gastroenteritis. Little is known of the diversity of Y. enterocolitica isolated from food and which food commodities contribute to human disease. In this study, Y. enterocolitica was isolated from 37/50 raw chicken, 8/10 pork, 8/10 salmon and 1/10 leafy green samples collected at retail in the UK. Up to 10 presumptive Y. enterocolitica isolates per positive sample underwent whole genome sequencing (WGS) and were compared with publicly available genomes. In total, 207 Y. enterocolitica isolates were analyzed and belonged to 38 sequence types (STs). Up to five STs of Y. enterocolitica were isolated from individual food samples and isolates belonging to the same sample and ST differed by 0–74 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Biotype was predicted for 205 (99 %) genomes that all belonged to biotype 1A, previously described as non-pathogenic. However, around half (51 %) of food samples contained isolates belonging to the same ST as previously isolated from UK human cases. The closest human-derived isolates shared between 17 and 7978 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with the food isolates. Extensive food surveillance is required to determine what food sources are responsible for Y. enterocolitica infections and to re-examine the role of biotype 1A as a human pathogen.
Original languageEnglish
Article number110554
JournalInternational Journal of Food Microbiology
Early online date26 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2024

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