Clinical manifestations ofYersinia pseudotuberculosis infection in children

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Abstract

The clinical manifestations of infection were analysed during an outbreak of 34 cases ofYersinia pseudotuberculosis serotype Ia infection. The diagnosis was based on the results of enzyme immunoassay and verified by stool culture in five cases. The first four patients were pupils from the same school, and information on any signs and symptoms of infection was obtained by questionnaire from pupils of the school. A blood sample was obtained from 101 children. Strong IgM and IgG antibody responses toYersinia pseudotuberculosis Ia were found in 13 (25%) of the 52 pupils who reported signs and symptoms of infection and in 9 (18%) of the 49 with no manifestations of infection. The vigorous immune response also resulted in effective opsonization of the causative microorganism. The most common symptoms were fever and abdominal pain. Three children operated on because of suspected appendicitis were found to have mesenteric lymphadenitis. Only one patient developed reactive arthritis. Analysis showed that a remarkable proportion ofYersinia pseudotuberculosis infections may be subclinical, and that individualYersinia pseudotuberculosis strains may have different capacities to cause postinfection complications.