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Open AccessArticle

Is Caretta Caretta a Carrier of Antibiotic Resistance in the Mediterranean Sea?

1
Department of Biological, Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies (STEBICEF), University of Palermo, 90028 Palermo, Italy
2
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Sicilia “A. Mirri”, 90129 Area Territoriale Palermo, Italy
3
Area Marina Protetta Isole Pelagie-Comune di Lampedusa e Linosa, 92031 Lampedusa, Italy
4
Centro Recupero Regionale Fauna Selvatica Bosco di Ficuzza, Ficuzza di Corleone, 90034 Palermo, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 February 2020 / Revised: 3 March 2020 / Accepted: 5 March 2020 / Published: 10 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antibiotics and Environment)
Sea turtles can be considered a sentinel species for monitoring the health of marine ecosystems, acting, at the same time, as a carrier of microorganisms. Indeed, sea turtles can acquire the microbiota from their reproductive sites and feeding, contributing to the diffusion of antibiotic-resistant strains to uncontaminated environments. This study aims to unveil the presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in (i) loggerhead sea turtles stranded along the coast of Sicily (Mediterranean Sea), (ii) unhatched and/or hatched eggs, (iii) sand from the turtles’ nest and (iv) seawater. Forty-four bacterial strains were isolated and identified by conventional biochemical tests and 16S rDNA sequencing. The Gram-negative Aeromonas and Vibrio species were mainly found in sea turtles and seawater samples, respectively. Conversely, the Gram-positive Bacillus, Streptococcus, and Staphylococcus strains were mostly isolated from eggs and sand. The antimicrobial resistance profile of the isolates revealed that these strains were resistant to cefazolin (95.5%), streptomycin (43.2%), colistin and amoxicillin/clavulanic acid (34.1%). Moreover, metagenome analysis unveiled the presence of both antibiotic and heavy metal resistance genes, as well as the mobile element class 1 integron at an alarming percentage rate. Our results suggest that Caretta caretta could be considered a carrier of antibiotic-resistant genes. View Full-Text
Keywords: antibiotic resistance; antimicrobials; mobile element; heavy metal resistance; loggerhead sea turtle; caretta caretta; Mediterranean Sea antibiotic resistance; antimicrobials; mobile element; heavy metal resistance; loggerhead sea turtle; caretta caretta; Mediterranean Sea
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MDPI and ACS Style

Alduina, R.; Gambino, D.; Presentato, A.; Gentile, A.; Sucato, A.; Savoca, D.; Filippello, S.; Visconti, G.; Caracappa, G.; Vicari, D.; Arculeo, M. Is Caretta Caretta a Carrier of Antibiotic Resistance in the Mediterranean Sea? Antibiotics 2020, 9, 116. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/antibiotics9030116

AMA Style

Alduina R, Gambino D, Presentato A, Gentile A, Sucato A, Savoca D, Filippello S, Visconti G, Caracappa G, Vicari D, Arculeo M. Is Caretta Caretta a Carrier of Antibiotic Resistance in the Mediterranean Sea? Antibiotics. 2020; 9(3):116. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/antibiotics9030116

Chicago/Turabian Style

Alduina, Rosa; Gambino, Delia; Presentato, Alessandro; Gentile, Antonino; Sucato, Arianna; Savoca, Dario; Filippello, Serena; Visconti, Giulia; Caracappa, Giulia; Vicari, Domenico; Arculeo, Marco. 2020. "Is Caretta Caretta a Carrier of Antibiotic Resistance in the Mediterranean Sea?" Antibiotics 9, no. 3: 116. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/antibiotics9030116

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