A Multistate Outbreak of Infections Caused by Yersinia enterocolitica Transmitted by Pasteurized Milk

Carol O. Tacket, Jai P. Narain, Richard Warren Sattin, John P. Lofgren, Charles Konigsberg, Robert C. Rendtorff, Alfio Rausa, Betty R. Davis, Mitchell L. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

110 Scopus citations

Abstract

In June and July 1982, a large interstate outbreak of Yersinia enterocolitica infections caused by an unusual serotype occurred in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Eighty-six percent of cases had enteritis characterized by fever, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. In three separate case-control studies, drinking milk pasteurized by plant A was statistically associated with illness. In a survey of randomly chosen households, 8.3% of persons who recalled having drunk milk from plant A during the suspect period experienced a yersiniosislike illness. Inspection of the plant and cultures of the available raw and pasteurized milk did not reveal the source or mechanism of contamination or a breach in normal pasteurizing technique. Although outbreaks of enteric disease caused by pasteurized milk are rare in the United States, the ability of Y enterocolitica to grow in milk at refrigeration temperatures makes pasteurized milk a possible vehicle for virulent Y enterocolitica. The extent to which milk is responsible for sporadic cases of yersiniosis is unknown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)483-486
Number of pages4
JournalJAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association
Volume251
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 27 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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    Tacket, C. O., Narain, J. P., Sattin, R. W., Lofgren, J. P., Konigsberg, C., Rendtorff, R. C., Rausa, A., Davis, B. R., & Cohen, M. L. (1984). A Multistate Outbreak of Infections Caused by Yersinia enterocolitica Transmitted by Pasteurized Milk. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 251(4), 483-486. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.1984.03340280033023