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Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

, Volume 109, Issue 8, pp 1167–1175 | Cite as

Isolation of culturable aerobic bacteria and evidence of Kerstersia gyiorum from the blowhole of captive Yangtze finless porpoises

  • Xiaoling Wan
  • Richard William McLaughlin
  • Junying Zhou
  • Yujiang Hao
  • Jinsong ZhengEmail author
  • Ding WangEmail author
Short Communication

Abstract

Bacterial respiratory illnesses are problematic in aquatic mammals such as the Yangtze finless porpoise (Neophocaena asiaeorientalis asiaeorientalis; YFP), which is now at a critically endangered status. Yet little is known about the bacteria inhabiting the respiratory tract of YFPs. In this study, we preliminarily characterized the culturable aerobic bacteria from blow samples of captive YFPs. The bacterial diversity was assessed through cultivation by direct exhalation onto Columbia blood agar plates and identification of representative isolates through 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. In total, eleven bacterial species belonging to four phyla Proteobacteria (71 %), Firmicutes (25 %), Bacteroidetes (3 %) and Actinobacteria (1 %) were identified. Most of these isolates were opportunistic pathogens found in respiratory illnesses in humans and animals. We also reported the first case of Kerstersia gyiorum isolated from an animal. This work provides a preliminary assessment of the bacteria present in the respiratory tract of captive YFPs, which will be an important first step in elucidating the roles of normal microbiota in maintaining respiratory health of YFPs. This study also points out the necessity of future long-term monitoring of blowhole microorganisms in the YFPs and making emergency preparedness plans for respiratory tract infections. These measures can aid in assessing the pathogenic risk of the critically endangered YFP populations.

Keywords

Bacteria Blowhole Kerstersia gyiorum Yangtze finless porpoise 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We are grateful to the trainers of Wuhan Baiji Dolphinarium for collecting blowhole samples. Special gratitude to Dr. William Wade and the anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions for improving the manuscript. This work was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 31430080 and 31000168), the Experimental Platform Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. CZBZX-1), and the Special Conservation Fund for the Yangtze finless porpoise from the Ministry of Agriculture of China.

Compliance with ethical standards

See Methods

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10482_2016_713_MOESM1_ESM.doc (176 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 176 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaoling Wan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Richard William McLaughlin
    • 1
    • 3
  • Junying Zhou
    • 4
  • Yujiang Hao
    • 1
  • Jinsong Zheng
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ding Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.The Key Laboratory of Aquatic Biodiversity and Conservation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of HydrobiologyChinese Academy of SciencesWuhanChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Biology DepartmentSaint Mary’s University of MinnesotaWinonaUSA
  4. 4.ZhongNan Hospital of Wuhan UniversityWuhanChina

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