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J Zoo Wildl Med. 2013 Mar;44(1):1-7.

Enterobacterial detection and Escherichia coli antimicrobial resistance in parrots seized from the illegal wildlife trade.

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Department of Veterinary Medicine, Federal University of Goiás, P.O. Box 131, 74001-970, Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil.


Enteric bacteria are considered important potential pathogens in avian clinical medicine, causing either primary or opportunistic infections. The aim of this study was to evaluate the frequency of enterobacteria in the intestinal microbiota of psittacine birds and to determine the antimicrobial susceptibility of the Escherichia coli isolates cultured. Fecal samples were collected from 300 parrots captured from the illegal wildlife trade in Goiás, Brazil and were processed using conventional bacteriological procedures. A total of 508 isolates were obtained from 300 fecal samples: 172 E. coli (33.9% of isolates; 57.3% of individuals); 153 Enterobacter spp. (30.1% of isolates; 51.0% of individuals); 89 Klebsiella spp. (17.7% of isolates; 29.7% of individuals); 59 Citrobacter spp. (11.6% of isolates; 19.7% of individuals), 21 Proteus vulgaris (4.2% of isolates; 7.0% of individuals), 5 Providencia alcalifaciens (0.98% of isolates; 1.67% of individuals), 5 Serratia sp. (0.98% of isolates; 1.67% of individuals), 3 Hafnia aivei (0.59% of isolates; 1.00% of individuals), and 1 Salmonella sp. (0.20% of isolates; 0.33% of individuals). Escherichia coli isolates were subsequently tested for susceptibility to the following antibiotics: amoxicillin (70.93% of the isolates were resistant), ampicillin (75.58%), ciprofloxacin (23.25%), chloramphenicol (33.14%), doxycycline (64.53%), enrofloxacin (41.28%), tetracycline (69.19%), and sulfonamide (71.51%). Multi-resistance to three and four groups of antibiotics occurred in 40 samples (23.25%) and 4 samples (2.32%), respectively. These results demonstrate that illegally traded birds are carriers of potentially pathogenic bacteria, including E. coli strains with antimicrobial resistance.

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