• Yersinia enterocolitica;
  • pulsed field gel electrophoresis;
  • genetic diversity;
  • antimicrobial resistance



Yersiniosis is one of the three leading foodborne zoonoses in Lithuania, and the incidence of 12.86 per 100 000 population was the highest among EU member states in 2010. Contaminated pig carcasses and subsequently undercooked pig meat are considered to be the primary transmission vehicle of enteropathogenic Y. enterocolitica to consumers. With the aim of evaluating pigs as a possible source of human yersiniosis in Lithuania, this study investigated the genetic diversity of Y. enterocolitica isolated from pigs and human cases of yersiniosis. In addition, the antimicrobial resistance of selected isolates from both sources was compared.


In total, 83 Y. enterocolitica strains were characterised using pulsed field gel electrophoresis. Overall, 68% of Y. enterocolitica 4/O:3 pulsotypes found in human clinical samples were identical to 81% of pulsotypes found in the pig production chain. Yersinia enterocolitica pulsotype II was confirmed as the dominant pulsotype in the pig production chain and was identical to nine of 19 Y. enterocolitica strains found in humans. All tested Y. enterocolitica 4/O:3 strains were resistant to ampicillin and erythromycin and sensitive to ciprofloxacin. Of the strains studied, 5% were resistant to tetracycline and streptomycin.


This study showed that pigs may be the main source of human yersiniosis in Lithuania. In addition, Y. enterocolitica 4/O:3 strains isolated from the pig production chain and from yersiniosis patients shared similar resistance to different antimicrobials.© 2012 Society of Chemical Industry