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The genus Campylobacter includes many species, most of which are known to be human and animal pathogens causing gastrointestinal diseases. The drugs of choice for treatment of human infections caused by these organisms are known to be fluoroquinolones and macrolides. In the recent past, however, the organisms have been observed to display resistance to antimicrobial agents including the drugs of choice. The present study determined the occurrence of antimicrobial resistant thermophilic Campylobacter in the feces of purging and non-purging dogs of different age groups in Morogoro, Tanzania. Fecal samples were collected from 404 dogs and subjected to the Cape Town protocol for isolation of thermophilic Campylobacter. Obtained isolates were tested for resistance against ten antimicrobial agents. Out of 404 sampled dogs, 40 (9.90%) were infected with thermophilic Campylobacter. C. jejuni comprised 82.5% of the total number of isolates. There were no statistically significant differences in the proportions of positive samples for thermophilic Campylobacter between those collected from adults (9.39%, n=298) and young (11.32%, n=106), and also between those collected from male (11.32%, n=212) and female (8.33%, n=192) dogs. All the thermophilic Campylobacter isolates were resistant to nalidixic acid and cephalothin. The lowest frequency of resistance was observed for ciprofloxacin. Resistance to other antimicrobial agents ranged from 15.0% to 95.0%. Multi-drug resistance was observed in 32.5% of all isolates. The findings of this study indicate that dogs are potential sources of human infections with antimicrobial resistant thermophilic Campylobacter. Attempts to eliminate infections caused by Campylobacter should take dogs into consideration, also should consider use of drugs that are effective for treatment of humans against the disease in order to succeed in treatment of campylobacteriosis.
Keywords: Companion animals, Tanzania, Thermophilic Campylobacter