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Antimicrobial susceptibility patterns for aerobic bacteria isolated from reptilian samples submitted to a veterinary diagnostic laboratory: 129 cases (2005–2016)

Pak Kan Tang BVetMed1,2, Stephen J. Divers BVetMed2, and Susan Sanchez PhD1
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  • 1 1Royal Veterinary College, North Mymms, AL9 7TA, England
  • | 2 2Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.
  • | 3 3Department of Infectious Diseases, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To identify antimicrobial susceptibility patterns for aerobic bacteria isolated from reptilian samples and, from those patterns, identify antimicrobials that could be considered for empirical treatment of reptiles with suspected bacterial infections.

SAMPLES

129 bacterial isolates from 61 of 127 samples from 96 reptiles.

PROCEDURES

Medical records of reptiles (chelonian, crocodilian, lizard, and snake) presented to the zoological medical service of a veterinary teaching hospital between January 2005 and December 2016 were reviewed for submissions of patient samples for aerobic bacterial culture and susceptibility testing. Sample type, presence or absence of bacterial growth, and antimicrobial susceptibilities of isolated bacteria were recorded. The isolation frequency and the antimicrobial susceptibilities of bacterial genera and species were tabulated.

RESULTS

Pseudomonas spp and Enterococcus spp were the most frequently isolated gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, respectively. Isolates of gram-negative bacteria frequently had susceptibility to amikacin (86%), gentamicin (95%), tobramycin (92%), and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (83%), and gram-positive bacteria frequently had susceptibility to ampicillin (83%), chloramphenicol (92%), doxycycline (100%), and gentamicin (100%). Isolates of gram-positive bacteria were consistently resistant to ceftazidime.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Aerobic bacterial culture and antimicrobial susceptibility results for reptilian samples in this population indicated that aminoglycosides and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole or ampicillin and doxycycline could be considered as options for the empirical treatment of reptiles with infections caused by gram-negative or gram-positive bacteria, respectively.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To identify antimicrobial susceptibility patterns for aerobic bacteria isolated from reptilian samples and, from those patterns, identify antimicrobials that could be considered for empirical treatment of reptiles with suspected bacterial infections.

SAMPLES

129 bacterial isolates from 61 of 127 samples from 96 reptiles.

PROCEDURES

Medical records of reptiles (chelonian, crocodilian, lizard, and snake) presented to the zoological medical service of a veterinary teaching hospital between January 2005 and December 2016 were reviewed for submissions of patient samples for aerobic bacterial culture and susceptibility testing. Sample type, presence or absence of bacterial growth, and antimicrobial susceptibilities of isolated bacteria were recorded. The isolation frequency and the antimicrobial susceptibilities of bacterial genera and species were tabulated.

RESULTS

Pseudomonas spp and Enterococcus spp were the most frequently isolated gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, respectively. Isolates of gram-negative bacteria frequently had susceptibility to amikacin (86%), gentamicin (95%), tobramycin (92%), and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (83%), and gram-positive bacteria frequently had susceptibility to ampicillin (83%), chloramphenicol (92%), doxycycline (100%), and gentamicin (100%). Isolates of gram-positive bacteria were consistently resistant to ceftazidime.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Aerobic bacterial culture and antimicrobial susceptibility results for reptilian samples in this population indicated that aminoglycosides and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole or ampicillin and doxycycline could be considered as options for the empirical treatment of reptiles with infections caused by gram-negative or gram-positive bacteria, respectively.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Tang's present address is the Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences, Royal Veterinary College, London, NW1 0TU, England.

Address correspondence to Dr. Tang (ptang1@rvc.ac.uk).