Investigation of the Role of Campylobacter Infection in Suspected Acute Polyradiculoneuritis in Dogs.

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Acute polyradiculoneuritis (APN) is an immune-mediated peripheral nerve disorder in dogs that shares many similarities with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) in humans, in which the bacterial pathogen Campylobacter spp. now is considered to be a major triggering agent. Little information is available concerning the relationship between APN and Campylobacter spp. in dogs.


To estimate the association between Campylobacter spp. infection and APN. Associations with additional potential risk factors also were investigated, particularly consumption of raw chicken.


Twenty-seven client-owned dogs suffering from suspected APN and 47 healthy dogs, client-owned or owned by staff members.


Case-control study with incidence density-based sampling. Fecal samples were collected from each enrolled animal to perform direct culture, DNA extraction, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for detection of Campylobacter spp. In some cases, species identification was performed by sequence analysis of the amplicon. Data were obtained from the medical records and owner questionnaires in both groups.


In cases in which the fecal sample was collected within 7 days from onset of clinical signs, APN cases were 9.4 times more likely to be positive for Campylobacter spp compared to control dogs (P < 0.001). In addition, a significant association was detected between dogs affected by APN and the consumption of raw chicken (96% of APN cases; 26% of control dogs). The most common Campylobacter spp. identified was Campylobacter upsaliensis.


Raw chicken consumption is a risk factor in dogs for the development of APN, which potentially is mediated by infection with Campylobacter spp.

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