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Increase in Antimicrobial Resistance in Bacteria Isolated from Stranded Marine Mammals of the Northwest Atlantic

Wallace, Courtney C., Yund, Philip O., Ford, Timothy E., Matassa, Keith A., Bass, Anna L.
EcoHealth 2013 v.10 no.2 pp. 201-210
Escherichia coli, aminoglycosides, antibiotic resistance, bacteria, databases, environmental health, fluoroquinolones, marine mammals, pathogens
Studies on marine mammals can inform our understanding of the environmental health of the ocean. To evaluate the potential for changes in antimicrobial resistance, we analyzed a database spanning 2004–2010 that consisted of bacterial isolate identity and antimicrobial sensitivity for stranded pinnipeds in the Northwest Atlantic. Samples (n = 170) from treated animals yielded 310 bacterial isolates representing 24 taxa. We evaluated changes in antimicrobial class resistance from 2004 to 2010 for eight taxa. Escherichia coli displayed a significant increase in resistance to several antimicrobial classes. Other taxa displayed significant increases in resistance to aminoglycosides, and/or fluoroquinolones. In addition, we observed a significant increase in multiple antimicrobial resistance in cultures from untreated animals. These results demonstrate an increase in resistance among common bacterial pathogens of marine mammals over a time span of 6 years.