Identification of a novel yersinia enterocolitica strain from bats in association with a bat die-off that occurred in Georgia (Caucasus)

Tata Imnadze, Ioseb Natradze, Ekaterine Zhgenti, Lile Malania, Natalia Abazashvili, Ketevan Sidamonidze, Ekaterine Khmaladze, Mariam Zakalashvili, Paata Imnadze, Ryan J. Arner, Vladimir Motin, Michael Kosoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Yersinia entercolitica is a bacterial species within the genus Yersinia, mostly known as a human enteric pathogen, but also recognized as a zoonotic agent widespread in domestic pigs. Findings of this bacterium in wild animals are very limited. The current report presents results of the identification of cultures of Y. entercolitica from dead bats after a massive bat die-off in a cave in western Georgia. The growth of bacterial colonies morphologically suspected as Yersinia was observed from three intestine tissues of 11 bats belonging to the Miniopterus schreibersii species. These three isolates were identified as Y. enterocolitica based on the API29 assay. No growth of Brucella or Francisella bacteria was observed from tissues of dead bats. Full genomes (a size between 4.6–4.7 Mbp) of the Yersinia strains isolated from bats were analyzed. The phylogenetic sequence analyses of the genomes demonstrated that all strains were nearly identical and formed a distinct cluster with the closest similarity to the environmental isolate O:36/1A. The bat isolates represent low-pathogenicity Biotype 1A strains lacking the genes for the Ail, Yst-a, Ysa, and virulence plasmid pYV, while containing the genes for Inv, YstB, and MyfA. Further characterization of the novel strains cultured from bats can provide a clue for the determination of the pathogenic properties of those strains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1000
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • Bacterial reservoir
  • Bat die-off
  • Genome sequence
  • Georgia (country)
  • Insectivorous bats
  • Yersinia entercolitica
  • Zoonotic agents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Virology


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