The Centers for Diseases and Prevention Control (CDC) has linked puppies bought at six pet store companies to a drug-resistant infection in 118 people. CDC has published a report linking Campylobacter, a bacteria found in dogs, to illnesses such as diarrhoea, nausea and stomach disorders in the infected people. These pups, bought from the same chain of pet stores, have been suspected to have passed on the bug on to the people. Of the 118 people who have been infected, 28 were pet store employees and the rest were people who had come into contact with the infected pups.
Campylobacter is a gram-negative bacteria responsible for causing campylobacteriosis, an emerging food-borne disease. Animals such as dogs, cattle and birds are the main sources of this bacterium. The virus is transmitted mainly through the faecal-oral route. Other modes include sexual transmission, drinking raw milk, eating uncooked poultry, drinking contaminated water, etc. US Woman Dies After Being Nipped At By Her New Puppy; Here’s What You Should Know About Capnocytophaga.
A case-controlled study conducted by FoodNet also found out that infants may get infected by riding shopping carts next to meat or poultry. Visiting animal farms, or having a pet with diarrhoea, etc. were risk factors.
Local health and agriculture departments of Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin visited 20 pet stores and collected the antibiotic records for 154 puppies. It was found that among 149 puppies with information, 142 were given antibiotic treatment. Four antibiotics – metronidazole, sulfadimethoxine, doxycycline and azithromycin – were given. ‘I’ll Always Love Dogs,’ Says Man Who Lost His Limbs After Getting Licked By Pet.
CDC believes that the infection was a likely result of the commercial dog industry. Dogs are an uncommon source of the Campylobacter, which caused the breakout of the multidrug-resistant infections. The study Multidrug-Resistant Campylobacter jejuni Outbreak Linked to Puppy Exposure — United States, 2016–2018 also warned that the industry could cause continued transmission of the bacteria through the chain of breeeders, distributors, transporters, stores and homes. Although CDC has stopped its investigation, the agency warned against future infections to employees and customers who buy from such stores.