Campylobacter spp. are a leading cause of bacterial enteritis worldwide, including countries in Africa, and have been identified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as one of the high priority antimicrobial resistant pathogens. However, at present there is little knowledge on the prevalence, molecular epidemiology or antimicrobial susceptibility of Campylobacter spp. isolates in Botswana, both in patients and in the zoonotic context. Some data indicate that ~14% of diarrhoeal disease cases in a paediatric setting can be ascribed to Campylobacter spp., urging the need for the magnitude of Campylobacter-associated diarrhoea to be established. In this survey, we have characterised the genomic diversity of Campylobacter spp. circulating in Botswana isolated from cases of diarrhoeal disease in humans (n = 20) and from those that colonised commercial broiler (n = 35) and free-range (n = 35) chickens. Phylogeny showed that the Campylobacter spp. isolated from the different poultry and human sources were highly related, suggesting that zoonotic transmission has likely occurred. We found that for Campylobacter spp. isolated from humans, broilers and free-range chickens, 52% was positive for tetO, 47% for gyrA-T86I, 72% for blaOXA-61, with 27% carrying all three resistance determinants. No 23S mutations conferring macrolide resistance were detected in this survey. In summary, our study provides insight into Campylobacter spp. in poultry reservoirs and in diarrhoeal patients, and the relevance for treatment regimens in Botswana.
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