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Pet Store Puppies Linked to Multistate Campylobacter Outbreak

EMSL Analytical offers environmental testing services for Campylobacter and other microbial pathogens to protect the public and workers from exposure risks.

Cinnaminson, NJ – WEBWIRE

While most people are aware that raising a puppy can be a lot of work, far fewer recognize that in rare circumstances, these same cute puppies could be carrying drug-resistant pathogens. This was the case recently when an outbreak of multidrug-resistant Campylobacter infections were investigated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS), and several state agencies.

For this multistate outbreak, the CDC published a Final Outbreak Advisory earlier this year. The document reports the following, “A total of 113 people with laboratory-confirmed infections or symptoms consistent with Campylobacter infection were linked to this outbreak. Illnesses were reported from 17 states. The illnesses started on dates ranging from January 12, 2016 to January 7, 2018. Ill people ranged in age from less than 1 year to 86, with a median age of 27. Sixty-three percent of ill people were female. Of 103 people with available information, 23 (22%) were hospitalized. No deaths were reported. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) showed that isolates from people infected with Campylobacter were closely related genetically. This close genetic relationship means that people in this outbreak were more likely to share a common source of infection.”

The agency went on to share that in interviews, 99% of people reported contact with a puppy in the week before the illness started. 87% reported they had contact with a puppy from a specific chain of pet stores or had contact with a person who became sick after contact with a puppy from the pet store chain. Twenty-five ill people worked at the pet store chain in question.

“To help prevent the spread of Campylobacter infections it is a good idea to always wash one’s hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching a puppy or dog, after handling their food and after cleaning up after them,” said Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “In addition to the importance of hygiene and handling practices, at EMSL we offer both environmental and food testing for the presence of Campylobacter to identify contaminated surfaces, materials and foods to help prevent the spread of the bacteria and verify cleaning and disinfection procedures.”

EMSL has also sponsored an educational video about pet store puppies and Campylobacter infections that can be seen at:

To learn more about Campylobacter or other microbial and environmental testing services, please visit or, call (800) 220-3675 or email .

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with 40 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOCs, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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 drug-resistant pathogen
 environmental testing
 Whole genome sequencing

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