So, that�s the nasty.
Let's talk now about the less nasty and the far more common,
and that would be Yersinia enterocolitica.
Yersinia enterocolitica is a common colonizer of the animal
and especially our livestock, our rabbits and also of
Transmission of Yersinia enterocolitica therefore typically
through ingestion of contaminated food products
or improperly prepared food products as well as water and
some blood products
which have been donated by an infected, asymptomatic patient
who might deliver a significant aliquot or amount of
Yersinia enterocolitica into their donated blood -
either packed red cells or platelets.
The contaminated food is important because Yersinia is a
and it especially loves warm, moist environments.
So foods in which one has a slow processing non-high heat,
non-refrigerated approach to preparing them are the most
commonly known to transmit Yersinia enterocolitica.
As an example, the food source, chitlins or menudo
in which you have very slowly processed, slowly cooked
animal meat products packaged
within intestinal wall are common sources of exposure to
The disease itself, enterocolitis, as with other forms of
or food associated enterocolitis, is a very common secondary
infection from Yersinia enterocolitica.
Patients will typically have diarrhea becoming bloody,
Along with this they�ll have fevers, with sometimes rigors
and of course the crampy abdominal pain and the onset of
pain right before defecation.
Duration for Yersinia enterocolitica is from one to two
weeks and it will many times resolve spontaneously.
However, there is a chronic form which is a very unpleasant
one year of intermittent waxing
and waning, crappy abdominal pain with diarrheal stools.
The more infamous if you will or classic complication of
with Yersinia enterocolitica is mesenteric lymphadenitis.
The enteric immune system reacts quite strongly to infection
by Yersinia enterocolitica
within the intestines and it does so by rapid and
significant enlargement of the mesenteric lymph nodes.
This causes pain, any rapid swelling of an internal viscera,
an internal organ stretches the capsule, and in the capsule
are pain fibers.
As the capsule stretches the pain fibers are triggered and
the pain --
Because of this and because the mesenteric lymph nodes
typically refer pain to the lower quadrants,
infections with Yersinia enterocolitica is one of the most
common causes of pseudo appendicitis -
pain, severe pain over the right lower quadrant in which the
patient may think they have appendicitis
and many times these patients are taken into the operating
with that specific diagnosis in mind.
That complication is most common in young children who also
to be most at risked for acute appendicitis.
A final note about transfusion related infection with
in this case the organism grows at those low temperatures
and the harvesting of blood products occurs
at such low temperatures and then within the blood sample
because it contains white blood cells, one can have
continued proliferation of the organism to very toxic
When the blood samples then delivered to the patient there's
an immediate onset of the toxin,
the cytotoxis and exotoxins related to a Yersinia
and the patient develops an immediate and severe transfusion
So, Yersinia, part of it very common, that being
enterocolitica and a common source of gastroenteritis.
Part of it thankfully quite rare, Yersinia pestis, otherwise
associated with the Plague,
but when Yersinia pestis occurs in an epidemic fashion
such as with the Black Death of the 1300s, it can be
absolutely awe and fear inspiring.
Yersinia, definitely not an organism to mess with.