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Asian Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances
Year: 2017  |  Volume: 12  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 205 - 211

Virulence Factors and Antimicrobial Resistance of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Isolated from Pet Turtles

Mitchell Wendt, Benthotage Chamara Jayasankha De Silva and Gang-Joon Heo    

Abstract: Background and Objectives: A gram-negative zoonotic bacterium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, is well-known for its antimicrobial resistance and ubiquity in nature. The current study aimed to examine pet turtle-borne P. aeruginosa for its virulence determinants and the antimicrobial resistance. Methodology: Twenty-four turtles purchased from pet shops and online markets in Korea were examined to determine whether they excreted P. aeruginosa. Presumptive P. aeruginosa was isolated from the fecal samples of pet turtles by selective media incubation and verified with biochemical testing. Seventeen isolates were genetically characterized by 16S rRNA sequencing and confirmed as P. aeruginosa. These strains were further tested for antimicrobial resistance by disk diffusion test and PCR assays were conducted to detect virulence genes. Results: All tested strains showed susceptibility to ciprofloxacin and ofloxacin but were completely resistant to amoxicillin, colistin, streptomycin, cephalothin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, chloramphenicol, imipenem, cefoxitin and nalidixic acid. Against gentamycin, tetracycline, ceftriaxone and amikacin, some strains showed complete resistance while some were intermediate resistant. The PCR assay detected the presence of virulence genes, toxA (100%), lasB (100%) and exoS (53%), which aid in pathogenicity against humans. Conclusion: All the results indicated that the pet turtles pose a potential public health risk due to prospective zoonotic P. aeruginosa infection.

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