Examination of zoonotic bacterial pathogens in canine and feline raw meat-based diets
Bree, F.P.J. van
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The feeding of raw meat-based diets (RMBD) to companion animals has become increasingly popular in recent years. However, such diets were demonstrated to be possibly contaminated with various zoonotic bacterial species in several studies and so the feeding of these diets could pose a risk to both animal and human health. Data about the situation in the Netherlands, or Europe in general are not available. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the contamination of commercial RMBDs available in the Netherlands with zoonotic bacterial pathogens. Thirty-five commercial RMBDs were evaluated via bacterial culture for Escherichia coli O157:H7, extendedspectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL-)producing E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella spp.. E. coli O157:H7 was isolated from eight (23%) products, ESBL-producing E. coli from twentyeight (80%) products, L. monocytogenes from nineteen (54%) products, other Listeria spp. from fifteen (43%) products, and Salmonella spp. from seven (20%) products. The results of this study demonstrate the need to pay attention to the potential of RMBDs to be a source for zoonotic bacterial pathogens in the Netherlands. These diets cannot be ruled out as a possible source for bacterial infections in both humans and animals and therefore companion animal owners should be informed about the associated risks.