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J Wildl Dis. 2013 Jan;49(1):1-9. doi: 10.7589/2011-10-287.

Characterization of Campylobacter from resident Canada geese in an urban environment.

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Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology Program, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University, Campus Box 7646, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695, USA.


Waterfowl are natural reservoirs for zoonotic pathogens, and abundant resident (nonmigratory) Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) in urban and suburban environments pose the potential for transmission of Campylobacter through human contact with fecal deposits and contaminated water. In June 2008 and July 2009, we collected 318 fecal samples from resident Canada Geese at 21 locations in and around Greensboro, North Carolina, to test for Campylobacter. All campylobacter species detected were C. jejuni isolates, and prevalences in 2008 and 2009 were 5.0% and 16.0%, respectively. Prevalence of C. jejuni-positive sampling sites was 21% (3/14) and 40% (6/15) in 2008 and 2009, respectively. All C. jejuni isolates were susceptible to a panel of six antimicrobial agents (tetracycline, streptomycin, erythromycin, kanamycin, nalidixic acid, and ciprofloxacin). We used pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and fla-typing to identify several strain types among these isolates. Multilocus sequence typing of representative isolates revealed six sequence types, of which two (ST-3708 and ST-4368) were new, two (ST-702 and ST-4080) had been detected previously among C. jejuni from geese, and two (ST-991 and ST-4071) were first reported in C. jejuni from an environmental water source and a human illness, respectively. These results indicate a diverse population of antibiotic-susceptible C. jejuni in resident Canada Geese in and around Greensboro, North Carolina, and suggest a need for additional assessment of the public health risk associated with resident Canada Geese in urban and suburban areas.

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