U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


Main content area

Rapid detection of Yersinia enterocolitica serotype O:3 using a duplex PCR assay

Leonardo Alves Rusak, Rodrigo de Castro Lisboa Pereira, Isabelle Geoffroy Freitag, Cristina Barroso Hofer, Ernesto Hofer, Marise Dutra Asensi, Deyse Christina Vallim
Journal of microbiological methods 2018 v.154 pp. 107-111
DNA, Yersinia enterocolitica, biosynthesis, digestive system diseases, feces, hospitals, humans, monitoring, peptide elongation factors, polymerase chain reaction, pregnant women, public health, rapid methods, selective media, serotypes, Europe
Yersinia enterocolitica, a member of the Enterobacteriaceae family, is a zoonotic agent that causes gastrointestinal diseases and some extraintestinal disorders in humans. Y. enterocolitica ssp. palearctica bioserotype 4/O:3 is the primary pathogenic bioserotype in Europe, where it has a high public health relevance. The isolation and identification of Y. enterocolitica from various sources on selective media have been seldom successful due to several reasons. In an attempt to overcome the problems associated with traditional culture-based methods, we developed a single duplex PCR assay for the detection of Y. enterocolitica ssp. palearctica bioserotype 4/O:3 using DNA extracted from a source. We combined the primer for tufA (elongation factor Tu) with the primer for rfbC (the biosynthesis of the O side chain) in one single reaction, which showed good results when we analyzed 88 Yersinia strains and when it was tested in the DNA from stool samples of two groups of pregnant women, one comprising HIV-positive women and the other comprising of HIV-negative women. Furthermore, the duplex PCR assay was found to be 16 times better in detecting Yersinia spp. in stool samples than the culture-based method. In addition, it was found to be a rapid screening method for the detection of Y. enterocolitica serotype O:3, and it could still detect other Y. enterocolitica serotypes and Yersinia species as well. We anticipate that the duplex PCR assay could be a useful tool for hospital and veterinary surveillance studies on Yersinia worldwide.