EcoHealth

, 6:33

Antibiotic-Resistant Organisms Cultured from Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) Inhabiting Estuarine Waters of Charleston, SC and Indian River Lagoon, FL

  • Adam M. Schaefer
  • Juli D. Goldstein
  • John S. Reif
  • Patricia A. Fair
  • Gregory D. Bossart
Original Contribution

DOI: 10.1007/s10393-009-0221-5

Cite this article as:
Schaefer, A.M., Goldstein, J.D., Reif, J.S. et al. EcoHealth (2009) 6: 33. doi:10.1007/s10393-009-0221-5
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Abstract

Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from estuarine waters of Indian River Lagoon, FL (IRL) and Charleston, SC (CHS) were cultured to screen for microorganism colonization and to assess antibiotic sensitivity. Swabs (n = 909) were collected from the blowhole, gastric fluid, and feces of 171 individual dolphins The most frequently cultured organisms were Plesiomonas shigelloides (n = 161), Aeromonas hydrophila (n = 144), Escherichia coli (n = 85), and Pseudomonas fluorescens (n = 82). In descending frequency, organisms demonstrated resistance to erythromycin, ampicillin, and cephalothin. Human and animal pathogens resistant to antibiotics used in human and veterinary medicine were cultured. Escherichia coli (E. coli) more often was resistant in IRL dolphins. Three cases of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) were found at CHS. Emergence of antibiotic resistance is not confined to humans. Bottlenose dolphins may serve as sentinels for transfer of resistance from humans and animals or indicate that antibiotics are reaching the marine environment and causing resistance to emerge through selective pressure and genetic adaptation.

Keywords

Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatusAntibiotic-resistant organisms Indian River Lagoon Charleston Harbor 

Copyright information

© International Association for Ecology and Health 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adam M. Schaefer
    • 1
  • Juli D. Goldstein
    • 1
  • John S. Reif
    • 2
  • Patricia A. Fair
    • 3
  • Gregory D. Bossart
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic UniversityFt. PierceUSA
  2. 2.Department of Environmental and Radiological Health SciencesColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  3. 3.Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research, NOAA, NOSCharlestonUSA
  4. 4.University of Miami, Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA

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