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Campylobacter species are among the leading causes of gastroenteritis in man and animals and are the major causes of childhood morbidity worldwide. In this study, we characterised Campylobacter species isolated from companion dogs in Jos, Nigeria using PCR. Of the 106 faecal samples analyzed, 13 were positive for Campylobacter yielding an overall infection rate of 12.3%. Breed based infection rates ranged between 0.0% and 18.2% and was highest among indigenous dogs. Age and sex based infection rates ranged between 7.8% and 16.4% while those in relation to condition of faeces varied significantly (p<0.05) and ranged between 0.0% and 50.0%. PCR identified Campylobacter jejuni in 7 (53.8%), Campylobacter coli in 4 (30.8%) and mixed infections in 2 (15.4%) of the 13 positive samples giving species-based infection rates of 6.6%, 3.8% and 1.9% respectively. Three C. coli and 5 C. jejuni were isolated from dogs with mucoid faeces, 1 C. coli from dogs with blood stained faeces as well as 2 C. jejuni and 2 mixed infections of the two species from dogs with diarrhoea. We identified two species of thermophilic Campylobacter in companion dogs in Jos. Majority of C. jejuni were isolated from mucoid faeces while mixed infections of the two species were more common among diarrhoeic dogs. Pet owners should observe strict hand hygiene especially after handling dogs or their faeces to reduce the risk of acquiring infection from their pets.
Keywords: Molecularcharacterization, thermophilicCampylobacter, companion dogs, veterinary facility, PCR, Jos, Nigeria