Campylobacter jejuni is the most important cause of bacterial gastroenteritis in humans. It is a commensal in many wild and domestic animals, including dogs. Whereas genotypes of human and chicken C. jejuni isolates have been described in some detail, only little information on canine C. jejuni genotypes is available. To gain more information on genotypes of canine C. jejuni and their zoonotic potential, isolates from routine diagnostics of diarrheic dogs as well as isolates of a prevalence study in non-diarrheic dogs were analyzed. Prevalence of thermophilic Campylobacter among non-diarrheic dogs was 6.3% for C. jejuni, 5.9% for Campylobacter upsaliensis and 0.7% for Campylobacter coli. The C. jejuni isolates were genotyped by multi locus sequence typing (MLST) and flaB typing. Resistance to macrolides and quinolones was genetically determined in parallel. Within the 134 genotyped C. jejuni isolates 57 different sequence types (ST) were found. Five STs were previously unrecognized. The most common STs were ST-48 (11.2%), ST-45 (10.5%) and ST-21 (6.0%). Whereas no macrolide resistance was found, 28 isolates (20.9%) were resistant to quinolones. ST-45 was significantly more prevalent in diarrheic than in non-diarrheic dogs. Within the common time frame of isolation 94% of the canine isolates had a ST that was also found in human clinical isolates. In conclusion, prevalence of C. jejuni in Swiss dogs is low but there is a large genetic overlap between dog and human isolates. Given the close contact between human and dogs, the latter should not be ignored as a potential source of human campylobacteriosis.
Keywords: Antibiotic resistance; Campylobacter; Dog; Multi locus sequence typing; Prevalence; Zoonosis.
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