Monday, May 3, 2021

Yersinia enterocolitica and blood disorder

 Q; 19 years old adolescent male with some kind of blood disorder (not known to his roommate) is brought to ICU from a college dorm with sepsis-like symptoms. Subsequent workup led to the diagnosis of yersiniosis. Patients with which blood disorder are more prone to have yersiniosis?  

Answer: Thalassemia

Yersinia is ferrophilic (iron-loving). Thalassemia patients frequently develop iron overload due to frequent blood transfusions. Said that patients with thalassemia can develop severe yersiniosis without very high iron load. The reason for this phenomenon is not understood. 

Other risk factors are undercooked/raw pork products, un-sanitized water, cirrhosis, hemochromatosis, aplastic anemia, thalassemia, malignancy, diabetes, malnutrition, and gastrointestinal illnesses.



Adamkiewicz TV, Berkovitch M, Krishnan C, et al. Infection due to Yersinia enterocolitica in a series of patients with beta-thalassemia: incidence and predisposing factors. Clin Infect Dis 1998; 27:1362.

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