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MP Montgomery, S Robertson, L Koski, E Salehi, LM Stevenson, R Silver, P Sundararaman, A Singh, LA Joseph, MB Weisner, E Brandt, M Prarat, R Bokanyi, JC Chen, JP Folster, CT Bennett, LK Francois Watkins, RD Aubert, A Chu, J Jackson, J Blanton, A Ginn, K Ramadugu, D Stanek, J DeMent, J Cui, Y Zhang, C Basler, CR Friedman, AL Geissler, SJ Crowe, N Dowell, S Dixon, L Whitlock, I Williams, MA Jhung, MC Nichols, S de Fijter and ME Laughlin
Abstract
Campylobacter causes an estimated 1.3 million diarrheal illnesses in the United States annually (1). In August 2017, the Florida Department of Health notified CDC of six Campylobacter jejuni infections linked to company A, a national pet store chain based in Ohio. CDC examined whole-genome sequencing (WGS) data and identified six isolates from company A puppies in Florida that were highly related to an isolate from a company A customer in Ohio. This information prompted a multistate investigation by local and state health and agriculture departments and CDC to identify the outbreak source and prevent additional illness. Health officials from six states visited pet stores to collect puppy fecal samples, antibiotic records, and traceback information. Nationally, 118 persons, including 29 pet store employees, in 18 states were identified with illness onset during January 5, 2016-February 4, 2018. In total, six pet store companies were linked to the outbreak. Outbreak isolates were resistant by antibiotic susceptibility testing to all antibiotics commonly used to treat Campylobacter infections, including macrolides and quinolones. Store record reviews revealed that among 149 investigated puppies, 142 (95%) received one or more courses of antibiotics, raising concern that antibiotic use might have led to development of resistance. Public health authorities issued infection prevention recommendations to affected pet stores and recommendations for testing puppies to veterinarians. This outbreak demonstrates that puppies can be a source of multidrug-resistant Campylobacter infections in humans, warranting a closer look at antimicrobial use in the commercial dog industry.
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