Multidrug-Resistant Campylobacter Jejuni Outbreak Linked to Puppy Exposure — United States, 2016–2018

Martha P. Montgomery, MD; Scott Robertson, DVM; Lia Koski, MPH; Ellen Salehi, MPH; Lauren M. Stevenson, MHS; Rachel Silver, MPH; Preethi Sundararaman, MPH; Amber Singh, DVM; Lavin A. Joseph, MS; Mary Beth Weisner; Eric Brandt; Melanie Prarat, MS; Rick Bokanyi, PhD; Jessica C. Chen, PhD; Jason P. Folster, PhD; Christy T. Bennett; Louise K. Francois Watkins, MD; Rachael D. Aubert, PhD; Alvina Chu, MHS; Jennifer Jackson, MPH; Jason Blanton, PhD; Amber Ginn; Kirtana Ramadugu, MPH; Danielle Stanek, DVM; Jamie DeMent, MNS; Jing Cui, DVM; Yan Zhang, DVM, PhD; Colin Basler, DVM; Cindy R. Friedman, MD; Aimee L. Geissler, PhD; Samuel J. Crowe, PhD; Natasha Dowell, MPH; Staci Dixon, MA; Laura Whitlock, MPH; Ian Williams, PhD; Michael A. Jhung, MD; Megin C. Nichols, DVM; Sietske de Fijter, MS; Mark E. Laughlin, DVM


Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2018;67(37):1032-1035. 

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Traceback Investigations

Records, including microchip identification numbers of puppies when available, were collected for puppies owned by infected persons and those sampled in stores. Microchips are implanted subcutaneously, usually before the puppy arrives at the store, and their corresponding identification numbers allowed investigators to trace puppies back to their breeders and distributors. Distributors are companies that purchase puppies wholesale from breeders and sell them to pet stores and other locations. Additional transport information was collected from stores when available. Practices identified during records review indicated that pet store puppies travel from breeders to distributors to stores by third-party transport companies. Information collected for eight puppies owned by infected persons and 20 puppies with fecal samples that were positive for Campylobacter jejuni traced back to 25 breeders and eight distributors. No single breeder, distributor, or transporter was identified as the infection source. However, potential for Campylobacter transmission among puppies exists because puppies from different breeders were commingled at distributors, during transport, and in stores.