Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Yersinia pseudotuberculosis

Synonym(s): Y. pseudotuberculosis

Contributor(s): Susan Dawson




  • Family: Enterobacteriaceae.
  • Genus: Yersinia.
  • Species: pseudotuberculosis.


  • Yersin - Swiss-born French bacteriologist.
  • Gr: pseudes - false; L: tuberculum - tuber; hump/swelling.

Active Forms

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Clinical Effects



  • Reservoir hosts: wild rodents, lagomorphs and birds.
  • Also persists in the environment.


  • Cats probably infected by eating reservoir hosts.

Pathological effects

  • Symptomatic infection with Y. pseudotuberculosis may occur in immunosuppressed cats.
  • Recovery from natural infection in normal cats confers solid immunity.
  • Cats infected by ingestion of infected rodents or birds.
  • Many infections subclinical; clinical disease aided by conditions that impair bowel integrity.
  • Incubation period a few days to several months.
  • Necrotic foci form in intestinal wall, abdominal lymph nodes, liver and spleen   →   vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, depression, anorexia and weight loss; icterus may develop.
  • Hepatic lesions: foci of severe necrosis surrounded by polymorphs containing bacilli. Surrounding hepatic parenchyma infiltrated by lymphocytes and plasma cells.
  • May be acute or chronic.

Other Host Effects

  • Many normal cats carry the bacterium in their gastrointestinal tract.


Control via animal

  • Severe disease may require intensive nursing, together with antibiotic therapy.
    Zoonotic risk.

Control via chemotherapies

Control via environment

  • Avoid contact with infected prey animals.


  • Avirulent live vaccine protects against homologous challenge; not available commercially.


This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Allard A W (1979) Yersinia pseudotuberculosis in a cat. JAVMA 174 (1), 91-92 PubMed.