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Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) in Antarctic fur seals Arctocephalus gazella
Section for Zoonotic Ecology and Epidemiology, Department of Biology and Environmental Science, University of Kalmar, Kalmar, Sweden.
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2007 (English)In: Polar Biology, ISSN 0722-4060, E-ISSN 1432-2056, Vol. 30, no 10, 1227-1229 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Rectal swabs were collected from Antarctic fur seal pups Arctocephalus gazella at Cape Shirreff, South Shetland Islands, and analyzed for the presence of anthropogenic pathogens. Two of the 33 pups tested positive for enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC). These samples are the first records of EPEC in Antarctic wildlife and suggest that more needs to be done to protect the Antarctic fauna from exotic anthropogenic pathogens.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 30, no 10, 1227-1229 p.
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-11962DOI: 10.1007/s00300-007-0282-2ISI: 000248812800002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-11962DiVA: diva2:39731
Available from: 2007-11-07 Created: 2007-11-07 Last updated: 2015-01-22Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Human Pathogens and Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria in Polar Regions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Human Pathogens and Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria in Polar Regions
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Coincident with human activity in recent decades, human-associated microorganisms have arrived to the Antarctic region, possibly linked to increasing presence of scientific bases and ship-borne tourists. In the Arctic, humans have been present for a very long time, and the few parts of the Arctic without human activities is decreasing with time. The studies in this thesis investigate the occurrence of different pathogens in Antarctic and Arctic wildlife, especially in birds. The first study shows the existence of Enteropatogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) in Antarctic fur seals. The EPEC isolates were so called atypical EPECs, carrying the eae gene but lacking the bfp gene. This is the first record of a diarrheogenic E. coli in wild animals in the Antarctic. The second study displays that spreading of antibiotic resistance mechanisms appears to be much more efficient than previously was known. Enterococcus faecium isolated from Alaskan birds showed high resistance to vancomycin and teicoplanin, but also to ampicillin and ciprofloxacin. These isolates also carried vanA genes and the virulent esp gene, which places the isolates in the clinical clone CC17 and indicates the isolates had a human origin. Bacteria from birds that reside in the Bering Strait region in the third study, demonstrates that only six of 145 E. coli from 532 birds had reduced antibiotic susceptibility. Despite this, selective screen on E. coli showed only four ESBL-producing isolates. The four E. coli isolates carried CTX-M genes. One isolate belonged to the E. coli O25b - ST131 genotype, which is a successful clone with a global spread. In the fourth study, 123 seawater samples and 400 fresh penguin feces were analyzed. From these, 71 E. coli strains were isolated and only one E. coli from penguins was resistant to one antibiotic (cloramfenicol), whereas in E. coli from seawater, resistance against ampicillin, tetracycline, streptomycin and trim-sulfa were detected. E. coli carrying ESBL type CTX -M genes were also detected and Multilocus Sequencing Typing (MLST) showed six different sequence types (ST) previously reported in humans: ST131, ST227, ST401, ST410, ST685 and ST937. In the short time interval between the second study (2005) and the third study (2010) in relation to the fifth study (2012) we found a dramatic increase in antibiotic-resistant genes in the Arctic region. Enterococci, E. coli, and Kl. pneumoniae carried antibiotic resistance genes to an extent and variety not previously reported. E. coli from Arctic birds showed resistant to 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 different antibiotics. Resistant gene type vanA was confirmed in enterococci and ESBL genes type TEM, SHV and CTX-M in E. coli and Kl. pneumoniae was detected. Multilocus Sequencing typing (MLST), indicating that both E. coli and Kl. pneumoniae carrying ESBL markers that connects them to the humans. In summary, the combined studies strengthen that bacteria that cause infections in humans could spread to relatively pristine environments. We concluded that human and associated antibiotic-resistant bacteria has reached a global level, then we showed that ESBL- carrying bacteria circulating nowadays also in the last ESBL-free continent, Antarctica.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2014. 57 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 1023
ESBL, Antibiotic Resistance, Polar Regions, Wild Birds
National Category
Microbiology in the medical area
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-230700 (URN)978-91-554-9016-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-10-10, Kalmar hospital, auditorium hjärnan, Lasarettsvägen 1, Kalmar, 09:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2014-09-18 Created: 2014-08-28 Last updated: 2015-01-22

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