DIVERSITY OF STAPHYLOCOCCAL SPECIES CULTURED FROM CAPTIVE LIVINGSTONE’S FRUIT BATS (PTEROPUS LIVINGSTONII) AND THEIR ENVIRONMENT

Fountain, K and Roberts, L and Young, V and Barbon, A and Frosini, S-M and Lloyd, D H and Loeffler, A (2019) DIVERSITY OF STAPHYLOCOCCAL SPECIES CULTURED FROM CAPTIVE LIVINGSTONE’S FRUIT BATS (PTEROPUS LIVINGSTONII) AND THEIR ENVIRONMENT. JOURNAL OF ZOO AND WILDLIFE MEDICINE, 50 (1). pp. 266-269.

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Abstract

Livingstone's fruit bats (Pteropus livingstonii) are critically endangered and a captive population has been established as part of the International Union for Conservation of Nature Species Action Plan. The largest colony, in Jersey Zoo, was sampled for staphylococcal carriage and at infection sites, as disease associated with staphylococci had previously been found. Staphylococci were cultured from swabs from 44 bats (skin, oropharynx, mouth ejecta, skin lesions) and from their enclosure. The isolates were identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization time of flight mass spectrometry; antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed by disc diffusion and screening for mecA and mecC. Seventeen species of coagulase-negative staphylococci including Staphylococcus xylosus, S. kloosii, S. nepalensis, and S. simiae were isolated. Staphylococcus aureus was identified from both carriage and lesional sites. These findings suggest S. nepalensis may be part of the normal carriage flora of bats. Antimicrobial resistance rates were low and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was not identified. Sampling of mouth ejecta for staphylococci may provide results representative for carriage sites.