Yersiniosis test, Yersinia stool culture
This test checks for an infection from the Yersinia bacteria. This infection is also called yersiniosis. Most cases of infection in the U.S. are from a type of bacteria called Yersinia enterocolitica. This illness is most common in children. It tends to strike more often during the winter. Eating or handling undercooked pork—especially pork chitterlings, or intestines—raises the risk for this infection. This is because pigs often carry this type of bacteria.
Two other types of the bacteria cause disease in humans. Yersinia pseudotuberculosis causes belly (abdominal) pain similar to appendicitis. Yersinia pestis causes the disease known as the plague. A stool culture may be used to diagnose Y. enterocolitica and sometimes Y. pseudotuberculosis.
You may need this test to see if you are infected with Y. enterocolitica. Common symptoms include:
Diarrhea. This often has mucus or blood in it. It can last for weeks.
In adults, other symptoms may include:
Bumpy nodules under the skin (erythema nodosum)
Eye inflammation (uveitis)
Symptoms of Y. pseudotuberculosis include:
The standard way to diagnose this illness is with a stool sample. The sample may be tested for other bacteria.
Test results may vary depending on your age, gender, health history, the method used for the test, and other things. Your test results may not mean you have a problem. Ask your healthcare provider what your test results mean for you.
If Yersinia bacteria grow in the culture, the infection is causing your symptoms.
This test is done with a stool sample. Your healthcare provider will tell you how to collect a sample in a disposable specimen container with a lid. If you can't make a stool sample at the time of the test, a healthcare provider may collect stool with a swab put into your rectum.
In some cases, a provider may try to grow bacteria from a fluid sample taken from the abdominal lymph nodes, throat, or abdomen. A blood sample can also be used.
This test poses no known risks when done as a stool test.
Contaminating the stool sample with urine or toilet paper could affect the results.
You don't need to prepare for this test. But be sure your healthcare provider knows about all the medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes medicines that don't need a prescription and any illicit drugs you may use.