Campylobacter spp

From Dog

Campylobacter spp are a commensal Gram-negative, spiral, flagellated, microaerophilic zoonotic bacteria commonly found in the digestive tract of dogs[1] and routinely cultured in feces from diarrheic dogs[2].

Routine rectal swabs have found this bacteria in the feces of dogs, and are usually asymptomatic, although zoonotic infections have been reported[3].

With food-borne contamination the most recognized source for infections, ingestion of untreated water, raw milk, undercooked chicken and the cross-contamination of foods are recognized risk factors for acquiring Campylobacter[4].

Species which are pathogenic to dogs include:

  • Campylobacter jejuni
  • Campylobacter coli[5]
  • Campylobacter upsaliensis
  • Campylobacter concisus
  • Campylobacter fetus
  • Campylobacter gracilis
  • Campylobacter helveticus
  • Campylobacter lari
  • Campylobacter mucosalis
  • Campylobacter showae
  • Campylobacter sputorum
  • Campylobacter rectus - gingivitis and periodontitis[6]
  • Campylobacter cuniculorum (prairie dogs)[7] - nonpathogenic

Campylobacter spp have been implicated in acute and chronic gastrointestinal disease[8], such as juvenile diarrhea and Boxer-associated colitis.

However, in many cases, intestinal bacterial overgrowth associated with increased numbers of Clostridium perfringens is suspected. This suggests that the apparent presence of Campylobacter populations may be related to environmental changes consistent with the physiological condition of diarrhea rather than any particular pathogen or disorder[9].

Diagnosis of this organism in dogs requires specific culture under low oxygen environments[10] or by PCR assay[11].


  1. Weese JS (2011) Bacterial enteritis in dogs and cats: diagnosis, therapy, and zoonotic potential. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 41(2):287-309
  2. Salihu MD et al (2010) Survey of thermophilic Campylobacter species in cats and dogs in north-western Nigeria. Vet Ital 46(4):425-430
  3. Parsons BN et al (2012) Multilocus sequence typing of human and canine C. upsaliensis isolates. Vet Microbiol 157(3-4):391-397
  4. Fullerton KE et al (2007) Sporadic Campylobacter infection in infants: a population-based surveillance case-control study. Pediatr Infect Dis J 26(1):19–24
  5. Parsons BN et al(2011) Prevalence and shedding patterns of Campylobacter spp. in longitudinal studies of kenneled dogs. Vet J 190(2):249-254
  6. Yamasaki Y et al (2012) Distribution of periodontopathic bacterial species in dogs and their owners. Arch Oral Biol 57(9):1183-1188
  7. Beisele M et al (2011) Helicobacter marmotae and novel Helicobacter and Campylobacter species isolated from the livers and intestines of prairie dogs. J Med Microbiol 60(9):1366-1374
  8. Suchodolski JS (2011) Companion animals symposium: microbes and gastrointestinal health of dogs and cats. J Anim Sci 89(5):1520-1530
  9. Chaban B et al (2010) Detection and quantification of 14 Campylobacter species in pet dogs reveals an increase in species richness in feces of diarrheic animals. BMC Microbiol 10:73
  10. Tsai HJ et al (2007) Salmonellae and campylobacters in household and stray dogs in northern Taiwan. Vet Res Commun. 2007;31(8):931–939
  11. Krutkiewicz A & Klimuszko D (2010) Genotyping and PCR detection of potential virulence genes in Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli isolates from different sources in Poland. Folia Microbiol (Praha) 55(2):167-175