Understanding the effects of importation on commensal enteric bacterial diversity and antibiotic resistance of the Tokay gecko
Casey, Christine Lynn
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Wildlife traded for the pet market, particularly the stressful transportation conditions, has the potential to influence the rate of antimicrobial resistance development. Using the Tokay gecko (Gekko gecko) as a model for the pet trade, I described the culturable lactose fermenting Enterobacteriaceae, the antimicrobial resistance patterns, and how overcrowding conditions impact the composition and antimicrobial resistance. The diversity of genera cultured from the individually housed geckos decreased after geckos were combined. There was an increase in Salmonella sp. prevalence observed between individual and combined groups. Several of the antimicrobial resistance patterns were consistent with the presence of a beta lactamase, which have important clinical consequences. Another concerning trend was the presence of intermediate resistance, because low-level resistance can act as the foundation for clinically relevant resistance to develop. The data demonstrates a need for future investigations to determine the mechanisms conferring resistance and their potential to disseminate.