Original Research

Prevalence and risk factors associated with Campylobacter spp. occurrence in healthy dogs visiting four rural community veterinary clinics in South Africa

Musafiri Karama, Beniamino T. Cenci-Goga, Alice Prosperi, Eric Etter, Saeed El-Ashram, Cheryl McCrindle, Jackson N. Ombui, Alan Kalake
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 86, No 1 | a1673 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v86i1.1673 | © 2019 Musafiri Karama, Beniamino T. Cenci-Goga, Alice Prosperi, Eric Etter, Saeed El-Ashram, Cheryl McCrindle, Jackson N. Ombui, Alan Kalake | This work is licensed under CC Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0
Submitted: 23 July 2018 | Published: 28 May 2019

About the author(s)

Musafiri Karama, Department of Paraclinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Onderstepoort, South Africa
Beniamino T. Cenci-Goga, Department of Paraclinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Onderstepoort, South Africa; and, Department of Veterinary Medicine, Laboratorio di Ispezione degli alimenti di origine animale, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy
Alice Prosperi, Experimental Zooprofilattico Institute of Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna ‘Bruno Ubertini’, Brescia, Italy; and, Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
Eric Etter, Department of Production Animal Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Onderstepoort, South Africa; and, Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement-INRA, UMR ASTRE Baillarguet International Campus, University of Montpellier, Montpellier, France
Saeed El-Ashram, College of Life Science and Engineering, Foshan University, Foshan, China; and, Faculty of Science, Kafr ElSheikh University, Kafr El Sheikh, Egypt
Cheryl McCrindle, Department of Agriculture and Animal Health, University of South Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa
Jackson N. Ombui, Department of Public Health, Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
Alan Kalake, Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Gauteng, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Reports on the occurrence of Campylobacter spp. in dogs in South Africa are non-existent. This study investigated the prevalence of Campylobacter spp. in 481 dogs visiting four rural community veterinary clinics in South Africa. Dogs were screened for Campylobacter spp. by culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and logistic regression analysis was performed to assess the association between sex, clinic, breed and age and the occurrence of Campylobacter spp. in dogs. The prevalence of Campylobacter spp. was 41.50% (95% confidence interval [CI], 37.39% – 46.04%). Campylobacter jejuni, C. upsaliensis and C. coli were detected in 29.31% (95% CI, 25.42% – 33.54%), 13.10% (95% CI, 10.37% – 16.42%) and 5.41% (95% CI, 3.71% – 7.82%) of dogs, respectively. Dogs carrying more than one species of Campylobacter spp. accounted for 6.23% (95% CI, 4.40% – 8.78%). Campylobacter upsaliensis and C. jejuni were detected in 3.74% (95% CI, 2.37% – 5.86%), whereas C. coli and C. jejuni were found in 2.49% (95% CI, 1.42% – 4.34%) of dogs. Age and clinic were the risk factors significantly associated with Campylobacter spp. occurrence, while age, breed and clinic were predictors of C. jejuni carriage. Furthermore, age was the only risk factor associated with a higher likelihood of carrying C. upsaliensis. The prevalence of Campylobacter spp. C. jejuni and C. upsaliensis increased significantly as dogs grew older. In addition, the odds of carrying Campylobacter spp. were higher in the Staffordshire bull terrier breed compared to crossbreed dogs. In conclusion, this study shows that dogs visiting rural community veterinary clinics in South Africa are reservoirs of Campylobacter spp. and may be potential sources of Campylobacter spp. for humans living in close proximity of the dog populations under study.

Keywords

dogs; Campylobacter spp.; C. jejuni; C. coli; C. upsaliensis; risk factors; South Africa

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