Clonal spread of yersinia enterocolitica 1B/O:8 in multiple zoo species

Christie L. Hicks, Julia E. Napier, Douglas L. Armstrong, Lori M. Gladney, Cheryl L. Tarr, Molly M. Freeman, Peter C. Iwen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Yersinia enterocolitica (YE) bioserotype 1B/O:8 (YE 1B/O:8) was identified in routine culture of a variety of zoo species housed at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium (OHDZA) from April to July 2011. Animal cases representing 12 species had YE detected from 34 cases during routine fecal monitoring and/or during postmortem examination: Coquerel's sifakas (Propithecus coquereli, two cases), black & white (BW) ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata variegata, six cases), red ruffed lemurs (Varecia rubra, seven cases), white handed gibbon (Hylobates lar albimana, one case), black lemurs (Eulemur macaco, three cases), mongoose lemurs (Eulemur mongoz, two cases), African hunting dogs (Lycaon pictus, five cases), agile gibbons (Hylobates agilis, three cases), siamangs (Hylobates syndactylus, two cases), colobus monkey (Colobus angolensis palliates, one case), argus pheasant (Argusianus argus, one case), and orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus, one case). Most species were not symptomatic; however, three symptomatic cases in Coquerel's sifakas (two) and a white handed gibbon (one) showed clinical signs of diarrhea and lethargy that resulted in death for the Coquerel's sifakas. One unexpected death also occurred in a BW ruffed lemur. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of YE 1B/O:8 in such a large variety of zoo species. The source of the YE could not be identified, prompting the initiation of a diseases surveillance program to prevent further cases for the species that are sensitive to YE. To date, no additional cases have been identified, thus suggesting a single introduction of the YE 1B/O:8 strain into the zoo environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-176
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 17 2020


  • Black & white (BW) ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata variegata)
  • Coquerel's sifaka (Propithecus coquereli)
  • PFGE
  • Yersinia enterocolitica 1B/O:8 (YE 1B/O:8)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • General Veterinary


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