Detection of Campylobacter jejuni in Lizard Faeces from Central Australia Using Quantitative PCR
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Worldwide, Campylobacter is a significant cause of gastrointestinal illness. It is predominately considered a foodborne pathogen, with human exposure via non-food transmission routes generally overlooked. Current literature has been exploring environmental reservoirs of campylobacteriosis including potential wildlife reservoirs. Given the close proximity between lizards and human habitats in Central Australia, this study examined the presence of Campylobacter jejuni from lizard faeces collected from this region. Of the 51 samples collected, 17 (33%) (this included 14/46 (30%) wild and 3/5 (60%) captive lizard samples) were positive for C. jejuni using quantitative PCR (qPCR). This was the first study to investigate the presence of C. jejuni in Australian lizards. This has public health implications regarding the risk of campylobacteriosis from handling of pet reptiles and through cross-contamination or contact with wild lizard faeces. Additionally this has implication for horizontal transmission via lizards of C. jejuni to food production farms. Further research is needed on this environmental reservoir and potential transmission routes to reduce the risk to public health. View Full-Text
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