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Lawhon, Sara D
Texas A&M AgriLife Research
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PROJECT SUMMARY Campylobacter infection is a leading cause of human foodborne illness in the United States.Although human campylobacteriosis is usually associated with the consumption ofcontaminated food, pets can be another source of infection. Dogs and cats are not commonlythought of as a source for human infection, but Campylobacter carriage is well-recognized inthese pets. Risk factors for Campylobacter infection in dogs and cats include consumption ofraw meat diets and contaminated treats such as uncooked beef bones. People can be exposedto Campylobacter when handling contaminated pet food and treats or feces from infected pets.Despite recognition of these cases and the potential risk of campylobacteriosis in dogs and cats,Campylobacter culture is not routinely performed in these species. Members of the Texas A&MUniversity Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital Clinical Microbiology Laboratory (TAMU CML),a FDA Vet-LIRN laboratory, have previously tested primers for Campylobacter jejuni that targetcpn60 for detection of C. jejuni from canine fecal samples. Recent work by the Ohio Vet-LIRNlaboratory indicates that primers that target gyr provide improved detection of C. jejuni in caninefeces. The goal of this proposal is to validate molecular methods to detect Campylobactershedding in dogs and cats because 1) Campylobacter infection is well-recognized in dogs andcats; 2) dogs and cats live in close association with people, particularly children; 3) canine andfeline shedding of Campylobacter spp. is well-recognized and associated with human infection;4) dogs and cats are not routinely screened for Campylobacter shedding despite recognition ofthe risk of Campylobacter infection in dogs and cats; and 5) the absence of standardizedmethods for Campylobacter detection make it difficult to compare studies from differentgeographic areas and different laboratories. Members of the TAMU CML will validate molecularmethods to detect C. jejuni gyrA in canine feces and test these methods in 5 independent,blinded laboratories with C. jejuni spiked test samples. Additionally, the collaborative effort oftest validation and sample exchange between the 5 collaborating laboratories will strengthen theties between these Vet-LIRN laboratories thereby promoting seamless interactions during actualemergency related events.
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Food and Drug Administration
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