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Pet reptiles as potential reservoir of Campylobacter species with zoonotic potential
  1. M. Giacomelli, DVM, PhD and
  2. A. Piccirillo, DVM, PhD
  1. Department of Comparative Biomedicine and Food Science, University of Padua, viale dell'Università, 16, Legnaro, PD 35020, Italy;
  1. E-mail for correspondence: alessandra.piccirillo{at}

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Campylobacteriosis represents a public health concern worldwide, with thermophilic campylobacters as the most commonly reported agents of acute gastroenteritis in humans (Horrocks and others 2009). However, a range of under-recognised Campylobacter species has been associated with human gastroenteritis, as well as septicaemia and life-threatening extraintestinal complications (Moore and others 2005). Campylobacters are widespread in nature and are harboured in the digestive tract of several wild and domesticated animals. Most Campylobacter species are considered commensals in these animals, which usually do not show any sign of disease. Other species are however associated with a range of diseases, for example, Campylobacter fetus is involved in reproductive disorders (infertility and abortion) in cattle and sheep (Moore and others 2005). Because of the important role played by animals as source of human campylobacteriosis, over the years many studies have been conducted to assess the prevalence of Campylobacter in several animal species, mainly food-producing animals. Furthermore, evidence of a high risk of Campylobacter infection associated with pet ownership has been shown (Horrocks and others 2009). However, little is known about the distribution of this pathogen in exotic pet animals, such as reptiles. Indeed, a very limited number of studies (Marin and others 2013, Wang and others 2013) assessing the distribution of Campylobacter in pet reptiles have been published to date. The present study …

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