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Microorganisms 2018, 6(3), 70;

Zoonotic Fecal Pathogens and Antimicrobial Resistance in Canadian Petting Zoos

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Lethbridge, AB T1J 4V6, Canada
Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions, Brandon, MB R7B 3W8, Canada
Department of Food Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2, Canada
Department of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2G7, Canada
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge Research and Development Centre, Lethbridge, AB T1J 4B1, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 June 2018 / Revised: 9 July 2018 / Accepted: 11 July 2018 / Published: 16 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis of Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli)
PDF [692 KB, uploaded 16 July 2018]


This study aimed to better understand the potential public health risk associated with zoonotic pathogens in agricultural fairs and petting zoos in Canada. Prevalence of Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157:H7, and top six non-O157 STEC serogroups in feces (n = 88), hide/feather (n = 36), and hand rail samples (n = 46) was assessed, as well as distributions of antimicrobial resistant (AMR) broad and extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing E. coli. Prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in pig nasal swabs (n = 4), and Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, and Giardia in feces was also assessed. Neither Salmonella nor MRSA were detected. Campylobacter spp. were isolated from 32% of fecal samples. Cryptosporidium and Giardia were detected in 2% and 15% of fecal samples, respectively. Only one fecal sample was positive for STEC O157, whereas 22% were positive for non-O157 STEC. Multi-drug resistance (MDR) to antibiotics classified as critically and highly important in human medicine was proportionally greatest in E. coli from cattle feces. The β-lactamase-producing E. coli from pig, horse/donkey feces, and hand rail samples, as well as the STEC E. coli from handrail swabs were MDR. The diversity and prevalence of zoonotic pathogens and AMR bacteria detected within agricultural fairs and petting zoos emphasize the importance of hygienic practices and sanitization with respect to reducing associated zoonotic risks. View Full-Text
Keywords: petting zoo; zoonoses; pathogens; Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC); methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA); antimicrobial resistance petting zoo; zoonoses; pathogens; Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC); methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA); antimicrobial resistance

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Conrad, C.C.; Stanford, K.; Narvaez-Bravo, C.; Neumann, N.F.; Munns, K.; Tymensen, L.; Jokinen, C.; McAllister, T.A. Zoonotic Fecal Pathogens and Antimicrobial Resistance in Canadian Petting Zoos. Microorganisms 2018, 6, 70.

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