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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2009 May;75(10):3055-61. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00101-09. Epub 2009 Mar 20.

Development of cpn60-based real-time quantitative PCR assays for the detection of 14 Campylobacter species and application to screening of canine fecal samples.

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Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.


Campylobacter species are important organisms in both human and animal health. The identification of Campylobacter currently requires the growth of organisms from complex samples and biochemical identification. In many cases, the condition of the sample being tested and/or the fastidious nature of many Campylobacter species has limited the detection of campylobacters in a laboratory setting. To address this, we have designed a set of real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) assays to detect and quantify 14 Campylobacter species, C. coli, C. concisus, C. curvus, C. fetus, C. gracilis, C. helveticus, C. hyointestinalis, C. jejuni, C. lari, C. mucosalis, C. rectus, C. showae, C. sputorum, and C. upsaliensis, directly from DNA extracted from feces. By use of a region of the cpn60 (also known as hsp60 or groEL) gene, which encodes the universally conserved 60-kDa chaperonin, species-specific assays were designed and validated. These assays were then employed to determine the prevalence of Campylobacter species in fecal samples from dogs. Fecal samples were found to contain detectable and quantifiable levels of C. fetus, C. gracilis, C. helveticus, C. jejuni, C. showae, and C. upsaliensis, with the majority of samples containing multiple Campylobacter species. This study represents the first report of C. fetus, C. gracilis, C. mucosalis, and C. showae detection in dogs and implicates dogs as a reservoir for these species. The qPCR assays described offer investigators a new tool to study many Campylobacter species in a culture-independent manner.

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