Campylobacter and risk factors associated with dog ownership: a retrospective study in household and in shelter dogs


Risk factors
Shelter dogs
antibiotic resistance

How to Cite

Iannino, F., Di Donato, G., Salucci, S., Ruggieri, E., Vincifori, G., Danzetta, M. L., Dalla Villa, P., Di Giannatale, E., Lotti, G., & De Massis, F. (2022). Campylobacter and risk factors associated with dog ownership: a retrospective study in household and in shelter dogs. Veterinaria Italiana, 58(1), 59–66. https://doi.org/10.12834/VetIt.2299.15789.1


Campylobacteriosis has been the most frequently reported zoonotic disease in humans in Europe. The scientific literature has reported that the role of dogs may be relevant. The objectives of this work are to improve the knowledge about Campylobacter spp. carriage, infection and antimicrobial resistance in household and shelter dogs in Italy, and to assess risk factors at the dog/human interface. During the 2015‑2016 period, rectal swabs were collected from 431 household vet‑visiting dogs and 173 dogs housed in shelters. A total of 3 veterinary clinics, located in three Italian regions (Abruzzo, Molise and Tuscany) and 10 shelters, five in Abruzzo and five in Molise, were included in the study. Relevant risk factors for the transmission of Campylobacter spp. from dogs to humans were assessed by means of a questionnaire administered to owners of household dogs. For Campylobacter spp. isolation, selective cultivation methods were used, followed by confirmation and species identification with the PCR method. Phenotypic antibiotic resistance profiles assayed using antimicrobial susceptibility testing were combined. Campylobacter spp. were isolated from 9 household dogs (2.1% CI 1.1% ‑ 3.9%) and from 13 shelter dogs (7.5 % CI 4.5% ‑ 12.4%). In household dogs C. jejuni was the most represented species (0.9%). In shelter dogs, the most common species was C. jejuni (5.2%). Campylobacter spp. isolates were resistant to ciprofloxacin (22.73%), nalidixic acid (22.73%), tetracyclines (27.27%), streptomycin (9.09%) and erythromycin (4.55%). The main C. jejuni Clonal Complex identified in dogs were CC21, CC45, CC206, CC403, CC42 and CC658. The risk of contracting Campylobacteriosis from dogs remains a concrete reality. This risk is increased in the presence of common habits, as shown by the data from the questionnaire. Prevalence control of Campylobacter spp. in household and shelter dogs would be important in order to reduce the transmission to humans.


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Copyright (c) 2022 Filomena Iannino, Guido Di Donato, Stefania Salucci, Enzo Ruggieri, Giacomo Vincifori, Maria Luisa Danzetta, Paolo Dalla Villa, Elisabetta Di Giannatale, Giulia Lotti, Fabrizio De Massis