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Yersinia enterocolitica is the causative agent of febrile inflammation (enterocolitis or enteritis) resulting from food infection. The bacterium secretes numerous proteins from its cell into the environment. These proteins are called YOP (Yersinia outer protein). YOP´s act as virulence factors since they have anti-phagocytic properties and prevent phagocytosis in the context of immune defense. The genes encoding these proteins are located on a plasmid. Apathogenic Yersinia strains are missing this plasmid.