Occurrence, species distribution and antimicrobial resistance of thermophilic Campylobacter isolates from farm and laboratory animals in Morogoro, Tanzania


Aim: To determine the carriage and antimicrobial resistance of Thermophilic Campylobacter species in the gastrointestinal tracts of farm and laboratory animals in Morogoro, Tanzania Materials and Methods: Faecal samples were collected from farm (n=244) and laboratory (n=466) animals and were subjected to the Cape Town protocol for isolation of Campylobacter. Isolates were preliminarily identified based on potassium hydroxide string and hippurate hydrolysis tests. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was employed for confirmation of isolates.Antimicrobial resistance testing was done using disc diffusion method. Results: Of the laboratory animals, 26.7% of guinea pigs (n=30) and 1.2% of rats (n=242) were colonized with Campylobacter. Four isolates from guinea pigs were Campylobacter jejuni and the other four were Campylobacter coli. From rats, two isolates were C. jejuni and one was C. coli. In farm animals thermophilic Campylobacter were detected from 31.6% of sheep (n=57) and 60% horses (n=5). Of the isolates 12 (57%) were C. jejuni (10 from sheep and 2 from horses) and the remaining were C. coli (8 from sheep and 1 from a horse). The isolates were frequently resistant to erythromycin, norfloxacin, colistin sulphate and nalidixic acid; whereas low levels of resistance were observed for ciprofloxacin and gentamicin. Conclusion: Our study reveals carriage of antimicrobial resistant thermophilic Campylobacter in the intestines of the study animals. This highlights possibilities in involvement of these animals in the epidemiology of Campylobacter infections. Thus, there is a need to consider these animal species when planning control measures for this zoonotic bacterium.



cape town protocol, farm animals, laboratory animals, Thermophilic Campylobacter