Yersiniae other than Y. enterocolitica, Y. pseudotuberculosis, and Y. pestis: the ignored species

Microbes Infect. 2000 Apr;2(5):497-513. doi: 10.1016/s1286-4579(00)00311-7.


The genus Yersinia is composed of 11 species, of which three (Y. pestis, Y. pseudotuberculosis, and Y. enterocolitica) have been exhaustively characterized. The remaining eight species (Y. frederiksenii, Y. intermedia, Y. kristensenii, Y. bercovieri, Y. mollaretii, Y. rohdei, Y. ruckeri, and Y. aldovae) have not been studied extensively and, because of the absence of classical Yersinia virulence markers, are generally considered to be nonpathogenic. However, recent data suggest that some of these eight species may cause disease by virtue of their having virulence factors distinct from those of Y. enterocolitica. These data raise intriguing questions about the mechanisms by which these species interact with their host cells and elicit human disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Toxins / pharmacology
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Ecology
  • Enterotoxins / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Intestine, Small / drug effects
  • Intestine, Small / pathology
  • Virulence
  • Yersinia / classification
  • Yersinia / isolation & purification
  • Yersinia / pathogenicity*
  • Yersinia Infections / microbiology*
  • Yersinia Infections / pathology


  • Bacterial Toxins
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Enterotoxins