Does this test have other names?
Yersiniosis test, Yersinia stool culture
What is this test?
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 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.
Why do I need this test?
You might have this test to check if you are infected with Y. enterocolitica. Common
In adults, other symptoms may include:
Symptoms of Y. pseudotuberculosis include:
What other tests might I have along with this test?
The standard method of diagnosing this illness uses a stool sample, which may be tested
for other bacteria, too.
What do my test results mean?
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 healthcare
If Yersinia bacteria grow in the culture, the infection is causing your symptoms.
How is this test done?
This test requires a stool sample. Your healthcare provider will tell 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 healthcare provider may collect stool with
a swab inserted 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.
Does this test pose any risks?
This test poses no known risks when done as a stool test.
What might affect my test results?
Contaminating the stool sample with urine or toilet paper could affect the results.
How do I get ready for this test?
You don't need to prepare for this test. But be sure your healthcare provider knows
about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes
medicines that don't need a prescription and any illicit drugs you may use.