The genus Arcobacter encompasses campylobacter-like organisms that grow in air at 25°C. Arcobacter has been detected or isolated from clinically healthy livestock as well as aborted fetuses and has been presumptively identified as either Campylobacter or Leptospira, based on its growth in selective semisolid media. Because reports from nonlivestock species are limited, this study examined nine presumptive isolates of Arcobacter spp. from an alpaca (Vicugna pacos), black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis), white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum), gorilla (Troglodytes gorilla), gazelle (Eudorcas thomsoni), rhea (Rhea americana), and aborted equine fetuses. Seven of these nine phenotypically identified isolates of Arcobacter were confirmed by a multiplex polymerase chain reaction assay. The remaining two isolates were subsequently identified as Arcobacter skirrowii (Case 5) and Campylobacter jejuni (Case 6) by sequence analysis of a 527-base pair fragment of the 16S rRNA gene. Together, these cases underscore the challenges to a clinical laboratory of identifying Arcobacter in cases which mimic vibrionic abortion or leptospirosis.
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