Submitted to: Veterinary Record
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/25/2003
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: Findings of intestinal obstruction (intussusception) and infection with a bacterial organism (C. jejuni) are described in a female raccoon kit. Gross changes consisted of presence of soft dark feces in the rectum. Laboratory (microscopic) examination revealed lesions in the area of the intestinal blockage. Bacterial culture of feces revealed heavy growth of bacteria (C. jejuni). To our knowledge, this type of intestinal blockage has not previously been documented in this species. Although C. jejuni is a common resident in the intestinal tracts of domestic and wild mammals and birds, it has not previously been reported from raccoons. Bacteriologic examination of a small population of 11 healthy adult raccoons in central Iowa revealed a 36% prevalence rate for C. jejuni. This organism is the most frequently reported cause of intestinal infection in developed countries. Consumption of contaminated undercooked poultry is regarded as a major risk factor for infection. Complications of this infection can lead to a variety of clinical problems in humans. From a public health perspective it may be important to note that since raccoons share our immediate environment, they may play a significant part in certain bacterial infections of humans.
Technical Abstract: Gross and histopathological findings of intestinal intussusception associated with Campylobacter jejuni are described in a female raccoon (Procyon lotor) kit. Gross changes consisted of small intestinal intussusception and presence of soft dark feces in the rectum. Microscopic lesions were confined to the intussuscepted area of the small intestines where the villi appeared blunted, cellular debris was present in some of the intestinal crypts, and the lamina propria was diffusely infiltrated with neutrophils. Bacteriologic examination of feces revealed heavy growth of C. jejuni. To our knowledge, intestinal intussusception has not previously been documented in this species. Although C. jejuni is a common resident in the intestinal tracts of domestic and wild mammals and birds, it has not previously been reported from raccoons. Bacteriologic examination of a small population of adult healthy raccoons in central Iowa (n=11) revealed a 36% prevalence rate for C. jejuni. In addition, Arcobacter spp. was recovered from four of ten animals (40%). This constitutes the first report of C. jejuni and Arcobacter spp. from raccoons.