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Detection and molecular analysis of Campylobacter ureolyticus in domestic animalsAbstract Previous studies showed the presence of Campylobacter ureolyticus in a large proportion of diarrhoeal samples from patients in Ireland. This emerging gastrointestinal pathogen was the second most common Campylobacter species detected in patients presenting with gastroenteritis, surpassed only by C. jejuni. However, the source of C. ureolyticus infections in humans remains unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of C. ureolyticus in a range of domestic animals. Over a period of 6 months, 164 samples collected from various domestic animals were tested using molecular method based on detection of the C. ureolyticus specific hsp60 gene. These included canine faeces (n = 44), feline faeces (n = 31) and porcine faeces (n = 89). C. ureolyticus was detected in 32% (10/31) of feline faeces, 9% (4/44) of canine faeces and 18% (16/89) of porcine faeces. Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis of C. ureolyticus isolates showed that an isolate from a cat is genetically similar to a strain isolated from a patient presenting with gastroenteritis. This study reports the first detection and isolation of this organism in domestic animals in Ireland, with a potential source for human infection. Together with the previously reported detection of C. ureolyticus in bovine samples, it is likely that this emerging pathogen has a zoonotic potential.