Detection of zoonotic enteropathogens in children and domestic animals in a semirural community in ecuador

Karla Vasco, Jay P. Graham, Gabriel Trueba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations

Abstract

Animals are important reservoirs of zoonotic enteropathogens, and transmission to humans occurs more frequently in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where small-scale livestock production is common. In this study, we investigated the presence of zoonotic enteropathogens in stool samples from 64 asymptomatic children and 203 domestic animals of 62 households in a semirural community in Ecuador between June and August 2014. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) was used to assess zoonotic transmission of Campylobacter jejuni and atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (aEPEC), which were the most prevalent bacterial pathogens in children and domestic animals (30.7% and 10.5%, respectively). Four sequence types (STs) of C. jejuni and four STs of aEPEC were identical between children and domestic animals. The apparent sources of human infection were chickens, dogs, guinea pigs, and rabbits for C. jejuni and pigs, dogs, and chickens for aEPEC. Other pathogens detected in children and domestic animals were Giardia lamblia (13.1%), Cryptosporidium parvum (1.1%), and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) (2.6%). Salmonella enterica was detected in 5 dogs and Yersinia enterocolitica was identified in 1 pig. Even though we identified 7 enteric pathogens in children, we encountered evidence of active transmission between domestic animals and humans only for C. jejuni and aEPEC. We also found evidence that C. jejuni strains from chickens were more likely to be transmitted to humans than those coming from other domestic animals. Our findings demonstrate the complex nature of enteropathogen transmission between domestic animals and humans and stress the need for further studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4218-4224
Number of pages7
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume82
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

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