VETERINARSKI ARHIV, vol.90, no.2, pp.129-141, 2020 (SCI-Expanded)
Daily contact with cats is an important risk factor for human campylobacteriosis. The main goal of this study was to investigate the virulence genes and antibiotic resistances of C. jejuni isolated from the stools of cats brought to Erciyes University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Training and Research Hospital Clinics. In the study, feces taken from different breeds and ages (1 month to 9 years) of 200 (116 female. 84 male) cats were examined between May 2017 and April 2018. Campylobacter spp. isolates were identified at genus and species level using genus specific multiplex PCR (mPCR), and the existence of iam, cadF, cdtA,flaA, ceuE, cdtC, cdtB and virB11 genes were found by PCR. The antimicrobial resistance and multidrug resitance (MDR) of the isolates were determined by disc diffusion test. By means of Enterobacterial Repetitive Intergenic Consensus Polymerase Chain Reaction (ERIC-PCR), the genetic relativeness of the isolates were revealed. In this study, 41 (20.5%) of 200 stool samples were shown to be positive for Campylobacter spp. in the isolation of Campylobacter spp. from stool samples. In the positive samples, 14 of 22 (63.6%) were from diarhoeic cats and 27 of 178 (15.1%) were non-diarhoeic cats. Also, in total 71 Campylobacter spp. suspicious isolates were recovered from the 41 positive samples obtained. Phenotypic tests and PCR revealed that 65 isolates (20 from diarrhoeic and 45 from non-diarhoeic cat isolates) were identified as C. jejuni. The differences in isolation rate in relation to sex or age were not statistically significant (P>0.05). In terms of virulence genes, all C. jejuni isolates harbored at least five virulence genes. All isolates were positive for the cadF, cdtC and ceuE genes, respectively. C. jejuni isolates contained iam, cadF. cdtA, flaA. ceuE, cdtC, cdtB and virB11. at the rate of 19 (29.2%), 65 (100%), 64 (98.4), 54 (83%), 65 (100%), 65 (100%), 64 (98.4%) and 22 (33.8%) respectively. Moreover, cdtA and cdtB toxin genes were found in most of the isolates analysed. All C. jejuni isolates were susceptible to amoxicillin clavulanic acid. The highest resistances of the isolates were found as follows; 64 (98.4%), 63 (96.9%). 62 (95.3%) for ciprofloxacin (CIP), trimethoprim sulfamethoxazole (SXT), nalidixic acid (NA) antibiotics, respectively. Multiple resistance of isolates was detected in the present study. Sixty-one (93.8%) out of 65 isolates were resistant to three or more antibiotics, and the highest resistance levels to three and seven antimicrobials were observed in 23.1% and 15.3% of the isolates respectively. In the study, C. jejuni isolates were resistant to most antibiotics currently used, and had extraordinary virulence traits in cats which may constitute a non-negligible risk for public health.