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Title: Antimicrobial resistance and enteric pathogens in companion animals
Author: Wilson, Jennifer Siân.
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2005
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The aims of this study were to investigate the prevalence of antibiotic resistant and potentially enteropathogenic bacteria in dog faecal samples and the potential for transmission of these bacteria to humans. The general prevalence of E. coli, Sa/monella spp., Campy/obacter spp., VRE, MRSA, and their antimicrobial susceptibilities were primarily investigated by conducting a cross-sectional survey, obtaining dog faecal samples from parks, boarding and rescue kennels and households. This revealed a high prevalence of healthy dogs excreting antibiotic resistant E. coli and E. coli carrying virulence determinants. There was generally a higher prevalence of antibiotic resistant E. coli isolated from boarding kennels and rescue home dogs. A significantly higher prevalence of antibiotic resistant E. coli were isolated from dogs on antibiotic therapy for kennel cough, suggesting antibiotic therapy select for antibiotic resistant E. coli in the gut flora. The highest prevalence of E. coli carrying virulence determinants were isolated from parks, although a high prevalence were also isolated from rescue and boarding kennels. Sa/monella Typhimurium were isolated only from an outbreak in a dog rescue home. A low prevalence of VRE and C. perfringens were isolated from dogs and MRSA was not isolated from any faecal samples. Overall Campy/obacter spp. were isolated from 9% dogs in the cross sectional study. There was no significant association between Campy/obacter spp. isolation and the presence of diarrhoea in dogs referred to the Small Animal Hospital for GI disease, suggesting that this bacterium is not a cause of diarrhoea in dogs. The most frequently isolated species of Campy/obaeter from dog faecal samples was C. upsaliensis. Although it is not isolated very frequently from human infection, dogs may be a source for a significant number of human cases. The prevalence of C. upsaliensis may be under estimated in both human and dog infections due to the nature of media used which is inhibitory to this species of Campy/obaeter. A longitudinal study was carried out to investigate the transmission of Campy/obaeter spp., commensal E. coli and E. coli carrying virulence determinants between dogs and their owners. Primarily a questionnaire was designed and distributed to obtain infonnation on how healthy people would prefer to collect faecal samples if given a choice. The preferred method was putting used toilet paper into a sterile diluent and a preliminary trial showed that this method was viable. Volunteers were recruited to participate in a six-month study collecting feacal samples from both dogs and owners. This study revealed that dogs within the same household are able to carry the same strain of commensal E. coli as their human owners, suggesting transmission between dogs and owners or vice versa. The results from this study were very interesting and further work should be carried out to assess fully the transmission of pathogenic bacteria to humans from dogs. There have been few previous studies investigating E. coli carrying known virulence detenninants, and also antibiotic resistant E. coli and the resistance genes responsible from healthy dogs and to our knowledge this is the first study in the UK. The results from the longitudinal study were extremely interesting and suggest that dogs may pose as a zoonotic risk for humans.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available