Rectal swabs or faecal samples for the isolation of Campylobacter species were taken from 120 dogs and cats in an animal shelter in which only one kitten showed signs of gastrointestinal disease, and rectal swabs were taken from 46 dogs, 22 of which showed signs of gastrointestinal disease, in another shelter. At the first shelter, the swabs from 24 of 47 dogs (51.1 per cent) and 36 of 48 cats (75 per cent) yielded a Campylobacter species. The rate of isolation was significantly higher from dogs and cats less than six months old, and significantly higher from cats than from dogs (P≤0·05). At the second shelter Campylobacter species were isolated from 40 of 46 dogs (87 per cent), but there was no significant difference between the age groups. Campylobacter species were isolated from 19 (86·4 per cent) of the 22 dogs with signs of gastrointestinal disease and from 21 (87·5 per cent) of the 24 unaffected dogs. Several culture methods were applied to the samples collected from both shelters, and the combination significantly increased the recovery of Campylobacter species.
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