Yersinia enterocolitica

Brief Description

All isolates of Yersinia enterocolitica recovered from specimens by other clinical laboratories in Georgia should be referred to the Bacteriology Unit, either directly or through the Emerging Infections Program (EIP) site. Referred isolates will be further characterized by various methods, such as biochemical reactions, serogrouping and serotyping, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization-Time of Flight (MALDI-TOF).

Laboratory Unit



  • Biochemicals
  • Serotyping

Specimen Collection

  • Feces:
    • Collect in the Para-Pak C&S outfit, orange-colored top (do not use the Parasitology O&P kit, blue and white-colored top, because it contains formalin that kills bacteria). Collect freshly passed feces as soon as possible after onset of illness and before antimicrobial therapy has been initiated. The patient should be cautioned against the use of antacid, barium, bismuth, anti-diarrheal medication, or oily laxatives prior to specimen collection. An appropriate (i.e., bloody, slimy, watery) area of stool should be selected and sampled with the collection spoon provided on the cap of the container.  Add specimen only to the red line on the vial, tighten the cap securely, and invert several times.  The solution in the vial should be salmon colored before the specimen is added.  Three consecutive specimens collected on different days during the acute stage of diarrheal disease are recommended (first three days).
  • Rectal swab:
    • Place in a Culturette in Stuarts, Cary-Blair, or other commercially available transport medium.
  • Culture Isolates:
    • Submit an overnight, pure culture of the isolated bacteria on commercially available carbohydrate-free media slants  (TSA, TSI and LIA are acceptable). 


  • Feces can be maintained at room temperature (15-30°C) during transit. 
  • Rectal swabs can be maintained at room temperature (15-30°C) during transit. 
  • Cultures can be maintained at room temperature (15-30°C) during transit. 
  • FRM-QA 4 Refrigeration Outfit Guide

Acceptable Specimen Type(s)

  • Feces
  • Rectal swab
  • Pure culture

Test Request

Possible Results

  • Identification to the genus and species
  • Unsatisfactory

Reference Range


Unacceptable Conditions

  • Improper specimen labeling
  • Missing testing requisition
  • Missing minimum of 2 patient identifiers
  • Specimens submitted in wrong preservative, e.g., PVA or 10% formalin
  • Use of Parasitology outfit
  • Specimens damaged, broken, or leaking upon arrival
  • Multiple specimens collected on the same day
  • Specimens received more than 4 days after collection (per Para Pak C &S package insert)

Interfering Substances

Use of antacid, barium, bismuth, anti-diarrheal medication, or oily laxatives.

Result Reported

3-5 business days


Fee schedule

LOINC/Order Codes

701-3 (Order code 1160)