Thirteen-lined ground squirrels (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus) harbor multiantibiotic-resistant bacteria

Department of Plant Pathology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA.
Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science: JAALAS (Impact Factor: 1.12). 06/2007; 46(3):21-3.
Source: PubMed


Whether wild-caught animals used for biomedical research carry antibiotic-resistant bacteria is not well studied. Thirteen- lined ground squirrels (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus) are small mammals used to study hibernation. These animals are captured from the wild or are born in laboratory animal facilities to wild-caught mothers. Because microorganisms harbored by 13-lined ground squirrels may be pathogenic to their caretakers and other laboratory animals, learning more about antibiotic resistance in these animals could be useful. In this study, tetracycline- and chloramphenicol-resistant Morganella morganii and multidrug resistant Stenotrophomonas maltophilia were isolated from the ceca of four 13-lined ground squirrels. These findings support further study of antibiotic-resistant bacterial populations in wild-caught mammals used as laboratory models.

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    • "Although enzyme activity is relatively slow at the low temperatures of deep torpor (o10 1C), host-derived substrates can be rapidly degraded during interbout arousals and result in the production of SCFAs and other microbial metabolites (Carey et al., 2013; Duddleston et al., 2012; Stevenson, 2014). Previous culture-based studies in thirteen-lined ground squirrels indicated that microbes associated with cecal contents ( " luminal microbiota " ) were reduced in number and species composition during hibernation compared to summer active ( " summer " ) squirrels (Barnes and Burton, 1970), and bacteria could be readily cultured from mucosal tissue of hibernators (Cloud-Hansen et al., 2007). However, as noted previously, culture-based studies are limited because the majority of gut microbes are unculturable with current techniques. "
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    • "There is limited information relating to S. maltophilia infection in animals. Although isolated from fish and snakes (Hejnar et al., 2007), from bovine and ovine milk (Litopoulou-Tzanetaki and Vafopoulou-Mastrojiannaki, 1995), from rabbit faeces (Draper et al., 1981), and from the gastrointestinal tract of laboratory animals (Toledo-Pereyra et al., 1974; Cloud-Hansen et al., 2007), S. maltophilia has only once been reported as an equine pathogen (Albini et al., 2009). However, one in vitro study of S. maltophilia and influenza concluded that co-infection with S. maltophilia could enhance the pathogenicity of equine influenza virus (Mancini et al., 2005). "
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