Microsoft word - rabbits fact sheet 6 - campylobacteriosis.htm
Occupational Health – Zoonotic Disease Fact Sheet #6
laboratory, domestic and wild species
Campylobacter (Vibrio) fetus ss. jejuni, a gram negative, microaerophilic,
curved, motile rod that is worldwide in distribution.
RESERVOIR AND INCIDENCE:
isolated from laboratory animals including dog, cat,
hamsters, ferrets (>60 % in one study), nonhuman primates, rabbits, swine, sheep, cattle,
and birds Although most cases of human campylobacteriosis are of unknown origin,
infection after contact with sick animals has been well documented. *In most reports of
pet to human transmission of C. jejuni, diarrheic puppies or kittens from pounds have
been the source of infection. Pet birds, chickens, and kittens are implicated in other
reports. A lab animal technician developed Campylobacter enteritis after feeding and
cleaning up after a recently imported nonhuman primate. The organism was first isolated
from nonhuman primates from Macaca fascicularis in 1979 and has since been reported
in baboons, rhesus, patas, and marmosets. Can be shed for long periods of time in stool
by asymptomatic carriers. Younger animals seem more likely to acquire the infection and
hence may more commonly shed the organism.
Transmission is thought to occur by the fecal-oral route, through
contamination of food or water, or by direct contact with infected fecal material. The
organism has also been isolated from houseflies. At 40 C the organism is viable for three
weeks in feces and milk, four weeks in water, and five weeks in urine. Campylobacter is
shed in the feces for at least six weeks after infection. Infected children may transmit
infection to puppies or kittens, which may then expose other children. Poultry and cattle
are the main reservoirs for human infection, which is acquired by ingesting contaminated
raw milk, undercooked chicken or other food contaminated in the kitchen.
DISEASE IN NONHUMAN PRIMATES:
The majority of infected animals are
asymptomatic carriers. Mild to severe enteritis may be seen - accompanied by fever,
vomiting, and mucus and blood in the feces. Bacteremia may occur, complicated by
meningitis or abortion. Most signs appear 1 to 7 days after exposure and affect primarily
the jejunum, ileum, and colon.
DISEASE IN OTHER ANIMALS:
Campylobacter has also been shown to cause
hepatitis in poultry, proliferative ileitis in hamsters, and abortion in ruminants. In all
animals, it may be associated with diarrhea, especially when acting secondarily to virus
DISEASE IN MAN:
Causes acute gastrointestinal illness, diarrhea with or without
blood, abdominal pain, and fever. It may cause pseudoappendicitis and, rarely, septicemia
and arthritis. It is usually a brief, self-limiting disease. In humans the asymptomatic carrier state is rare. Reinfection is possible in both animals and man.
1. Rapid diagnosis is done with dark field or phase contrast microscopy of
fecal material. 2. This is confirmed by stool culture which requires a special selective
growth media(CAMPY-BAP) and incubation at 43oC with 10% CO2, 5% O2 and 85%
Nitrogen. 3. Warthin Starry stain and histo 4. Various techniques are being used to detect
seroconversion to the antigens of Campylobacter.
Animals can be treated based on culture and sensitivity. Currently
erythromycin is the drug of choice, but does not eliminate the carrier state. Tetracycline
or ciprofloxacin are alternatives.
Vaccines provide partial protection of short duration and
routine use is not recommended. Control is aimed at isolation of affected individuals and
personal hygiene. An increased awareness of the potential of infection due to
Campylobacter is of primary importance. Thoroughly cook all foodstuffs derived from
animal sources, particularly poultry. Recognize, prevent, and control Campylobacter
infections among domestic animals and pets. Wash hands after handling poultry and
animal feces. Protective clothing, sanitation, and personal hygiene important
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