Twenty two patients were followed up for a mean of 10.7 years after acute yersinia arthritis. Their clinical course, agglutination antibodies, antibodies against plasmid coded yersinia proteins, and laboratory parameters of inflammation were analysed. The clinical findings were unremarkable. Serum agglutinating antibodies against Yersinia enterocolitica were not found in any patient. Ten patients had no antibodies against plasmid coded bacterial proteins. Five patients showed IgG antibodies, one patient had an IgA and IgG result of questionable significance, and six patients had IgA and IgG antibodies in the immunoblot reaction. No evidence of systemic inflammation was found. The persistence of IgA or IgG antibodies, or both, did not have a discernible influence on the clinical course. The development of erosive changes in the sacroiliac joints occurred independently of yersinia infection.
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