PubMed | a Institute of Environmental Science and Research
Type: Journal Article | Journal: New Zealand veterinary journal | Year: 2015
To determine the concentration of Campylobacter spp. as well as faecal indicator bacteria; faecal coliforms, Escherichia coli and enterococci in the faeces of healthy adult horses in a sample of properties in the Canterbury region of New Zealand.The faeces of healthy adult horses (n=59), including ponies, pleasure horses and Thoroughbreds, were collected from eight properties around Christchurch, New Zealand. The faeces were analysed for concentrations of Campylobacter spp and faecal indicator bacteria; faecal coliforms, Escherichia coli and enterococci. The presence of other animals on the properties sampled as well as the age, feed and health of the horses at the time of sampling was recorded.Enterococci and faecal coliforms were isolated from all samples, and E. coli was isolated from 58/59 samples. Mean concentrations of faecal coliforms and E. coli did not differ between properties, but there was a significant difference in mean concentration of enterococci between properties. Campylobacter spp. were detected in two faecal samples with one isolate being determined by PCR analysis to be a thermotolerant Campylobacter species, the other C. jejuni.This is the first known report quantifying the concentration of Campylobacter spp. present in healthy adult horses in New Zealand. The presence of equine faecal material in water could elevate concentrations of faecal bacteria and therefore needs to be considered as a source of water contamination. The access of horses to waterways and coastal environments may also need to be restricted to prevent transmission of faecal indicator bacteria and potentially zoonotic agents.