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
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)