Enteropathogens in pups from pet shops and breeding facilities

Authors

  • S. Dupont,

    1. Department of Medicine and Clinical Biology of Small Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium
    2. Veos N.V., Zwevezele, Belgium
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  • P. Butaye,

    1. Coda-Cerva, Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Centre, Brussels, Belgium
    2. Department of Pathology, Bacteriology, and Poultry Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium
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  • E. Claerebout,

    1. Department of Virology, Parasitology and Immunology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium
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  • S. Theuns,

    1. Department of Virology, Parasitology and Immunology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium
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  • L. Duchateau,

    1. Department of Physiology, Biochemistry and Biometrics, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium
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  • I. Van de Maele,

    1. Department of Medicine and Clinical Biology of Small Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium
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  • S. Daminet

    1. Department of Medicine and Clinical Biology of Small Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium
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Abstract

Objectives

To evaluate faecal and clinical scores and presence of several enteropathogens possibly implicated in the development of diarrhoea in pups aged between 6 and 16 weeks independently of their health status.

Methods

Pups were selected from pet shops and breeding facilities and assigned a faecal and clinical score. Standard isolation methods were used to determine presence of parasites, viruses and bacteria in faecal samples. For Escherichia coli, virulence genes were assessed by multiplex polymerase chain reaction.

Results

Fifty-six pups were included in this study. Eighteen had no diarrhoea, 22 had no significant clinical signs related to gastroenteritis. Samples were positive for Toxocara canis (n=29), Giardia duodenalis (n=35), Cystoisospora (n=22), E. coli (n=47) and Clostridium perfringens (n=20). In four E. coli positive samples, genes were detected that correlate with pathogenicity in other animal species. A significant positive correlation between the presence of T. canis and faecal score was found.

Clinical Significance

Puppies obtained from a pet shop or breeding facility have a high risk of gastrointestinal disease. Furthermore, infectious agents may be present independently of faecal or clinical score. The identification of possible pathogenic E. coli strains suggests that their role in diarrhoea warrant further investigation.

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