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Yersinia Causes

Yersinia is spread through its natural carriers, rodents and some mammals. The bacterium usually infiltrates the blood, and may affect multiple organs including the brain and the spleen. In some cases, the organism can be contracted from direct aerosol infection. It may also be spread through the ingestion of contaminated food products.

Yersinia Definition

Yersinia is a gram-negative rod-shaped genus of bacteria belonging to the family Enterobacteriaceae. They are usually a few micrometers in length and fractions of a micrometer in diameter. The natural reservoirs of Yersinia are rodents and, though less likely, other mammals. In humans, some species of Yersinia are pathogenic and cause infections through the blood or via the alimentary tract. Yersiniosis is the name of the disease caused by Yersinia in humans.

Yersinia Diagnosis

Grams stains can detect gram negative rods, and in some cases, identify the double curved shape of Yersinia. Further screening may come in the form of Anti-F1 serology tests, which can distinguish between the different Yersinia species.

Yersinia Symptoms and Signs

Yersinia infections may manifest with the bubonic plague, which has a 2-6 day incubation period. Affected persons usually suffer from lethargy, fever, headaches, chills, and lymph node swelling. Yersinia infection may also cause septicemic plague, which includes the following symptoms: hepatosplenomegaly, hypotension, delirium, seizures, lethargy, shock, and fever. In addition, the Yersinia bacterium may cause pneumonic plague, which has the following symptoms: cough, chills, fever, dyspnea, chest pain, lethargy, hemoptysis, hypotension, shock, and occasionally some symptoms of the bubonic and septicemic plagues.

Yersinia Treatment

Chloramphenicol, streptomycin, fluoroquinolones, and tetracycline are the most common first line of defense for Yersinia infections. Gentamicin and doxycycline have also demonstrated some efficacy in treatment. However, antibiotic therapy alone may not suffice for some affected individuals, who may also need some ventilator, circulatory, or renal support depending on the severity of the disease.

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