Epidemiologic features of Campylobacter infection among cats in the upper midwestern United States

Jeffrey B. Bender, Stephanie A. Shulman, Gary A. Averbeck, Gayle C. Pantlin, Bert E. Stromberg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Objective - To describe the epidemiologic features of Camp-ylobacter infection among cats in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area. Design - Prevalence survey. Animals - 152 cats examined at 3 private veterinary clinics and an animal humane society. Procedures - Fecal samples were submitted for bacterial culture for Campylobacter spp. To determine the duration of Campylobacter carriage, follow-up fecal samples were collected from cats with positive Campylobacter culture results. Results - Campylobacter organisms were cultured from 37 of the 152 (24%) fecal samples. Campylobacter Isolates were identified as Campylobacter upsaliensis (29 cats), Campylobacter jejuni (2), and Campylobacter coli (1); species of the remaining 5 isolates could not be determined. Campylobacter organisms were isolated from 36 of the 122 (30%) cats that were ≤ 1 year old but from only 1 of the 30 (3%) cats that were > 1 year old, and shedding was more common during the summer and fall months. No association between Campylobacter shedding and clinical signs of disease was identified. For 4 of 13 cats from which follow-up fecal samples were obtained, duration of Campylobacter carriage could not be determined because Campylobacter organisms were isolated from all follow-up samples. For the remaining 9 cats, median duration of Campylobacter carriage was 44 days. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - C upsaliensis can commonly be isolated from the feces of overtly healthy kittens in the Midwest United States. Because carriage may be prolonged, veterinarians should encourage good hand hygiene among owners of cats, especially among owners with new kittens in their household.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)544-547
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 15 2005


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