Molecular and Statistical Analysis of Campylobacter spp. and Antimicrobial-Resistant Campylobacter Carriage in Wildlife and Livestock from Ontario Farms

Zoonoses Public Health. 2017 May;64(3):194-203. doi: 10.1111/zph.12295. Epub 2016 Jul 27.


The objectives of this study were to (i) compare the carriage of Campylobacter and antimicrobial-resistant Campylobacter among livestock and mammalian wildlife on Ontario farms, and (ii) investigate the potential sharing of Campylobacter subtypes between livestock and wildlife. Using data collected from a cross-sectional study of 25 farms in 2010, we assessed associations, using mixed logistic regression models, between Campylobacter and antimicrobial-resistant Campylobacter carriage and the following explanatory variables: animal species (beef, dairy, swine, raccoon, other), farm type (swine, beef, dairy), type of sample (livestock or wildlife) and Campylobacter species (jejuni, coli, other). Models included a random effect to account for clustering by farm where samples were collected. Samples were subtyped using a Campylobacter-specific 40 gene comparative fingerprinting assay. A total of 92 livestock and 107 wildlife faecal samples were collected, and 72% and 27% tested positive for Campylobacter, respectively. Pooled faecal samples from livestock were significantly more likely to test positive for Campylobacter than wildlife samples. Relative to dairy cattle, pig samples were at significantly increased odds of testing positive for Campylobacter. The odds of isolating Campylobacter jejuni from beef cattle samples were significantly greater compared to dairy cattle and raccoon samples. Fifty unique subtypes of Campylobacter were identified, and only one subtype was found in both wildlife and livestock samples. Livestock Campylobacter isolates were significantly more likely to exhibit antimicrobial resistance (AMR) compared to wildlife Campylobacter isolates. Campylobacter jejuni was more likely to exhibit AMR when compared to C. coli. However, C. jejuni isolates were only resistant to tetracycline, and C. coli isolates exhibited multidrug resistance patterns. Based on differences in prevalence of Campylobacter spp. and resistant Campylobacter between livestock and wildlife samples, and the lack of similarity in molecular subtypes and AMR patterns, we concluded that the sharing of Campylobacter species between livestock and mammalian wildlife was uncommon.

Keywords: Campylobacter; Antimicrobial resistance; livestock-wildlife interface; molecular subtyping; raccoons.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Wild*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacterial Shedding
  • Campylobacter / drug effects*
  • Campylobacter Infections / epidemiology
  • Campylobacter Infections / microbiology
  • Campylobacter Infections / veterinary*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial*
  • Livestock*
  • Ontario / epidemiology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents