Occurrence and diversity of Campylobacter species in captive chelonians.


Department of Comparative Biomedicine and Food Science, University of Padua, Legnaro, PD, Italy. Electronic address: [Email]


The aim of this study was to investigate the occurrence and diversity of Campylobacter species in chelonians. From July 2016 to September 2017, a total of 452 individuals from a large variety of tortoises (n = 366) and turtles/terrapins (n = 86) kept in private collections and breeding centres, wildlife rescue centres, zoos, pet shops, and veterinary clinics from Northern Italy was sampled and subjected to microbiological examination. Campylobacter genus and species confirmation was performed by single and multiplex PCRs. Out of 452 samples, five (1.1%) tested positive: three for C. iguaniorum (two Testudo graeca and one Testudo hermanni), one for C. fetus subsp. testudinum (Stigmochelys pardalis) and one for C. geochelonis (Testudo hermanni). This study suggests that Campylobacter spp. are not common in chelonians, but a variety of species can be detected in these hosts, including those potentially pathogenic for humans. Further studies are needed to understand the epidemiology and the pathogenic potential for both animals and humans of reptile-associated Campylobacter spp.


Campylobacter fetus subsp. testudinum,Campylobacter geochelonis,Campylobacter iguaniorum,Chelonian,Tortoise,Turtle,Zoonosis,

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