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What Could Your Dog Be Carrying? – Zoonotic Enteric Bacteria in Pet Dogs in Ontario: Prevalence, Risk Factors, and Antimicrobial Resistance

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Title: What Could Your Dog Be Carrying? – Zoonotic Enteric Bacteria in Pet Dogs in Ontario: Prevalence, Risk Factors, and Antimicrobial Resistance
Author: Leonard, Erin Kathleen
Department: Department of Population Medicine
Program: Population Medicine
Advisor: Pearl, David
Abstract: In this study we investigated the prevalence of selected zoonotic pathogens (Salmonella and Campylobacter) and antimicrobial resistant bacteria (Salmonella spp. and generic Escherichia coli) in client-owned dogs in Southwestern Ontario. The pet-related risk factors for shedding Salmonella spp., Campylobacter spp., and antimicrobial resistant Salmonella spp. and generic Escherichia coli in the recruited pet dogs were also investigated. Pet-related data were collected through owner-administered questionnaires, and bacterial prevalence and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) data were obtained through repeated canine fecal samples. These data were evaluated using single-level and multilevel logistic regression models. The first cross-sectional study was conducted from October 2005 through May 2006, and involved 138 dogs from 84 households. Twenty-three percent of dogs had at least one fecal sample positive for Salmonella, and 25% of households had at least one dog shedding Salmonella. Statistically significant risk factors included contact with livestock, receiving a probiotic in the previous month, feeding a raw food diet or a homemade cooked diet, and having more than one dog in the household. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed on 515 Salmonella and E. coli isolates recovered from 136 dogs from 83 households. The majority of bacterial isolates (80%) were pan-susceptible and 11% were resistant to two or more antimicrobial classes. Multilevel logistic regression models with random intercepts for household and dog identified bacterial species, being fed a homemade diet, and being fed a raw diet as statistically significant risk factors for AMR in this population of dogs. The second cross-sectional study took place from July 2008 through May 2009; 240 client-owned pet dogs were recruited. The prevalence of Campylobacter spp. carriage in this population of pet dogs was 22%, with 19% positive for C. upsaliensis, and 3% positive for C. jejuni. Significant risk factors from multivariable logistic regression models were being fed a homemade cooked diet, dog age, and treatment with antibiotics in the previous month. Knowledge of the epidemiology of these zoonotic pathogens in pet dogs and the role of pet-related management factors is critical for controlling Salmonella, Campylobacter and AMR in pet dogs and for developing evidence-based pet ownership guidelines.
Date: 2014-05
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