Wildlife in Catalonia carry enteric bacteria resistant to critically important antimicrobials used in human health

phys.org | 6/20/2019 | Staff
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Antibiotic resistance has become a global health problem due to decades of misuse of these drugs in both human and veterinary medicine. Nowadays, the prevalence of multi-drug resistant bacteria in humans, domestic animals and livestock has increased, hindering the finding of the correct treatment for infectious diseases that before were not a problem. This is especially true in hospital settings, where antimicrobial pressure is extremely high and patients are immunocompromised and more prone to acquiring nosocomial infections. In addition, antibiotic-resistant bacteria has been described in urban environments and ecosystems subjected to low human pressure. Previous studies have confirmed the presence of resistant bacteria or resistant genes circulating in urban wastewater and river waters. Consequently, wildlife might be indirectly exposed to these resistant traits.

The present study finds a high prevalence and diversity of antibiotic resistance genes. The study, published in PLoS ONE, emphasizes that these antibiotics are classified by the World Health Organization as critically important for human health.

Study - Scientists - Bacteria - Animals - Species

To perform the study, scientists have analyzed enteric bacteria of 307 animals from 67 species located in regions of Catalonia with high density of urban areas and farming land. Some of the animal species analyzed were birds (mainly birds of prey, owls, passerines and gulls), mammals (hedgehogs, mustelids, wild boars and roe deer) and a small number of tortoises. According to the results of the analysis, hedgehogs were the animals with the highest percentage of resistant bacteria, followed by birds of prey such as goshawks and common owls.

Enteric bacteria identified in the gastrointestinal track of these animals belonged to several genus of Enterobacteriaceae commonly found in animals and humans, as well as in the environment. The most abundant species were Escherichia coli, followed by Klebsiella pneumoniae, Citrobacter freundii, Enterobacter cloacae, Proteus mirabilis, Providencia spp and Serratia marescens.

Results - Bacteria

Additionally, results revealed that all these bacteria...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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