The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

A joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital

Foodborne and Zoonotic Enteric Pathogens (Past Projects)

Genomic insights into a sustained national outbreak of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis

Project Summary

Yersinia pseudotuberculosis is a zoonotic pathogen.  It is capable of infecting both human and animal hosts, and has a broad range of domestic and wild animal reservoirs. Transmission is by the faecal-oral route, and human infection can occur by the ingestion of contaminated produce or water, or alternatively by direct contact with an infected animal or humans.  It can cause abdominal pain and diarrhoea, as well as extra-intestinal symptoms and bloodstream and deep tissues infections. 

In 2014, a sustained outbreak of yersiniosis due to Yersinia pseudotuberculosis occurred across all major cities in New Zealand (NZ), with a total of 220 laboratory-confirmed cases, representing one of the largest ever reported outbreaks of Y. pseudotuberculosis.

The aims of the project were to characterise the Y. pseudotuberculosis outbreak isolates and determine whether this was likely to be a point source outbreak.

Project Partners

Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR), New Zealand


Genomic Insights into a Sustained National Outbreak of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis
Williamson DA, Baines SL, Carter GP, da Silva AG, Ren X, Sherwood J, Dufour M, Schultz MB, French NP, Seemann T, Stinear TP, Howden BP. Genome Biology and Evolution. 2016;8(12):3806-14

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