Abstract: As sentinels, cetaceans provide the link between ocean and human health by indicating the emergence of disease threats, pathogenic microorganisms, and antimicrobial resistance. Cetaceans that stranded in the Philippines from January 2012 to March 2013 were screened for antibiotic resistance. The susceptibility patterns of Achromobacter xylosidans, Acinetobacter spp., Aeromonas spp., Burkholderia cepacia, Enterococcus faecalis, Enterococcus sp., Moraxella sp., Proteus mirabilis, Providencia stuartii, Rhizobium radiobacter, Serratia marcescens, Sphingomonas sp., Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Vibrio spp. isolated from nine cetaceans representing the species Globicephala macrorhynchus, Kogia sima, Kogia breviceps, Stenella attenuata, and Steno bredanensis were determined using a selection of antibiotics. More than half of these isolates showed either single or multiple resistances to the antibiotics tested. Development of antibiotic resistance in a rough-toothed dolphin (S. bredanensis) was observed after the administration of antibiotics during the course of rehabilitation. The findings of the study can serve as a basis for providing medical intervention during management and rehabilitation of stranded cetaceans, and have implications relevant to zoonotic transmission of potentially pathogenic or antibiotic resistant bacteria from cetaceans to other marine species and humans. Investigating stranded cetaceans for the occurrence of bacteria and antibiotic resistance is one way of monitoring the health of their counterparts in the wild, offering insights as to the possible involvement of bacterial infections in local stranding events.
Key Words: antibiotic resistance, bacteria, stranding events, cetaceans, Philippines
Document: Article
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1578/AM.44.5.2018.568
Page Numbers: 568-579

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