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In vitro inhibition of Salmonella organisms isolated from reptiles by an inactivated culture of microcin-producing Escherichia coli

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  • 1 Departments of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.
  • | 2 Department of Small Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.
  • | 3 Athens Diagnostic Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.
  • | 4 Athens Diagnostic Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.
  • | 5 Athens Diagnostic Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.
  • | 6 Zoo Atlanta, 800 Cherokee Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30315.
  • | 7 Riverbanks Zoo, PO Box 1060, Columbia, SC 29202-1060.

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether an inactivated culture of a microcin-producing avian Escherichia coli was capable of killing Salmonella isolates from reptiles in an in vitro test system.

Sample Population—57 Salmonella isolate from reptiles.

Procedure—A wild-type avian E coli electrotransformed with a plasmid coding for the production of microcin 24 was tested in an in vitro microassay system for its ability to kill 57 Salmonella spp isolated from reptiles. The reptile population included snakes, iguana, frilled lizards, turtles, other lizards, and unspecified reptiles.

Results—44 of the Salmonella isolates were inhibited strongly, compared with the in vitro assay controls; 12 had weak inhibition, and 1 was not inhibited by the microcin-producing E coli. Thirteen of the 57 isolates had resistance to at least 1 antibiotic, primarily streptomycin. There were 9 O serogroups identified in the 57 isolates, with serogroup H being the most prevalent (18 to 57).

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Antibiotics are not recommended to eliminate Salmonella organisms from reptiles because of the development of antibiotic resistance. Further studies are necessary to determine whether the use of microcin-producing bacteria will be effective in controlling Salmonella infections in companion reptiles. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1399–1401)