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Prevalence, Antibiotic Susceptibility, and Virulence Factors of Yersinia enterocolitica and Related Species from Ready-to-Eat Vegetables Available in Korea

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A total of 673 ready-to-eat vegetable samples were collected in Korea from 2001 to 2002 and analyzed for the presence of Yersinia spp. We analyzed biotypes, serotypes, and susceptibility to 12 antibiotics and tested for virulence genes of pathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica isolates by PCR assay. Among the samples, 27 (4.0%) were found to be contaminated with Yersinia spp. Among the 27 strains of Yersinia spp. isolates, 18 strains (66.7%) of Y. enterocolitica, 5 strains (18.5%) of Y. frederiksenii, 3 strains (11.1%) of Y. intermedia, and 1 strain (3.7%) of Y. kristensenii were identified. According to the serotypes of Y. enterocolitica isolates, O:3 (11.1%) and O:5 (11.1%) were the most predominant, followed by O:8 (5.6%) and others (72.2%). For biotypes of Y. enterocolitica isolates, 1A (77.8%) was the most predominant, followed by 3B (11.1%), 3 (5.6%), and 5A (5.6%). Also, an antibiotic susceptibility test showed that Y. enterocolitica isolates were very susceptible to the antibiotics tested but highly resistant to ampicillin (94%), cephalothin (100%), and carbenicillin (83%). PCR assays with specific primers derived from yst and ail genes of Y. enterocolitica were applied to confirm the presence of pathogenic Y. enterocolitica. Among the 18 strains of Y. enterocolitica isolates, only 3 strains (O:3/1A, UT/3B, and UT/1A isolated from Chinese cabbage, onion, and spinach, respectively) were shown to have a virulence gene.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Health and Environment of Kangwondo, Chunchon 200-702, Korea 2: School of Food Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Kangwon National University, Hyoja 3: Department of Food Science and Technology, Kyeongbuk National University, Daegu, Korea

Publication date: June 1, 2004

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