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, and 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 because pigs often carry this type of bacteria.
Two other types of the bacteria cause disease in humans: Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, which causes abdominal pain similar to appendicitis, and Yersinia pestis, which causes the disease known as the plague. A stool culture may be used to diagnose Y. enterocolitica and, in some cases, Y. pseudotuberculosis.
You might have this test to check if you are infected with Y. enterocolitica. Common symptoms include:
Diarrhea, which often contains mucus or blood and can last for weeks or months
Abdominal, or belly, pain
In adults, other symptoms may include:
Erythema nodosum, or bumpy nodules under the skin
Uveitis, an eye inflammation
Symptoms of Y. pseudotuberculosis include:
The standard method of diagnosing this illness uses a stool sample, which may be tested for other bacteria, too.
Many things may affect your lab test results. These include the method each lab uses to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your health care provider.
If Yersinia bacteria grow in the culture, the infection is causing your symptoms.
This test requires a stool sample. Your doctor will instruct you how to collect a sample in a disposable specimen container with a lid. If you're unable to produce a stool sample at the time of the test, a health care provider may collect stool with a swab inserted into your rectum.
In some cases, a health care 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.