Campylobacter infections are a public health concern and an increasingly common cause of food-borne zoonoses in the European Union. However, little is known about their spill-over from free-ranging livestock to sympatric wild ungulates, especially in regards to uncommon Campylobacter species. In this study, we aim to determine the prevalence of C. coli, C. jejuni and other C. spp. in game ungulates (wild boar Sus scrofa and Iberian ibex Capra pyrenaica) and free-ranging sympatric cattle in a National Game Reserve in NE Spain. Furthermore, we explore the extent to which Campylobacter species are shared among these co-habiting hosts. Faecal samples from Iberian ibex (n = 181) were negative for C. spp. By direct plating, two wild boars out of 150 were positive for C. coli (1.3%, 95% CI 0.16-4.73), and one was positive for C. jejuni (0.67%, 95% CI 0.02-3.66). The latter was predominant in cattle: 5.45% (n = 55, 95% CI 1.14-5.12), while C. coli was not isolated from this host. C. lanienae was the most frequent species in wild boar at 10% (95% CI 5.7-15.96), and one cow cohabiting with positive wild boars in the same canyon also carried C. lanienae. Four enrichment protocols (using Bolton or Preston broth combined with either mCCDA or CFA) were added for 172 samples (57 from wild boars, 55 cattle and 60 Iberian ibexes) to increase the number of isolates obtained allowing the detection of statistically significant differences. The prevalence of C. lanienae was statistically significantly higher in wild boar than in cattle (P < 0.01), but the prevalence of C. jejuni was higher in the latter (P = 0.045). These results suggest that wild boar and cattle carry their own predominant Campylobacter species, while Iberian ibex do not seem to play an important role in the epidemiology of Campylobacter. However, there is a potential spill-over of C. spp., and thus, further research is needed to elucidate the factors determining inter-species transmission. © 2014 International Association for Ecology and Health.
- 16S rRNA
- Inter-species transmission