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Sci Total Environ. 2015 Feb 1;505:299-305. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.09.102. Epub 2014 Oct 16.

The carriage of antibiotic resistance by enteric bacteria from imported tokay geckos (Gekko gecko) destined for the pet trade.

Author information

1
Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, Department of Population Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, United States.
2
Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, Department of Population Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, United States; Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, United States. Electronic address: shernz@uga.edu.
3
Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, Department of Population Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, United States; Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, United States.
4
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, United States.
5
The Athens Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Athens, GA 30602, United States; The Department of Infectious Diseases, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, United States.

Abstract

The emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a growing public health concern and has serious implications for both human and veterinary medicine. The nature of the global economy encourages the movement of humans, livestock, produce, and wildlife, as well as their potentially antibiotic-resistant bacteria, across international borders. Humans and livestock can be reservoirs for antibiotic-resistant bacteria; however, little is known about the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria harbored by wildlife and, to our knowledge, limited data has been reported for wild-caught reptiles that were specifically collected for the pet trade. In the current study, we examined the antibiotic resistance of lactose-positive Enterobacteriaceae isolates from wild-caught Tokay geckos (Gekko gecko) imported from Indonesia for use in the pet trade. In addition, we proposed that the conditions under which wild animals are captured, transported, and handled might affect the shedding or fecal prevalence of antibiotic resistance. In particular we were interested in the effects of density; to address this, we experimentally modified densities of geckos after import and documented changes in antibiotic resistance patterns. The commensal enteric bacteria from Tokay geckos (G. gecko) imported for the pet trade displayed resistance against some antibiotics including: ampicillin, amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, cefoxitin, chloramphenicol, kanamycin and tetracycline. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria after experimentally mimicking potentially stressful transportation conditions reptiles experience prior to purchase. There were, however, some interesting trends observed when comparing Tokay geckos housed individually and those housed in groups. Understanding the prevalence of antibiotic resistant commensal enteric flora from common pet reptiles is paramount because of the potential for humans exposed to these animals to acquire antibiotic-resistant bacteria and the potential for released pets to disseminate these bacteria to native wildlife.

KEYWORDS:

Antibiotic resistance; Enterobacteriaceae; Pets; Reptile; Tokay gecko

PMID:
25461031
DOI:
10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.09.102
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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