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Antimicrobial Resistance and Virulence Factors of Edwardsiella tarda Isolated from Pet Turtles
Dong-Min Shin§, Sabrina Hossain§, SHMP Wimalasena and Gang-Joon Heo*
Veterinary Medical Center and College of Veterinary Medicine, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju 28644, Korea; *Corresponding author:


Pet turtles are known as a source of bacterial infection to humans when handled in captivity. Pathogenic Edwardsiella tarda was identified using 16S rRNA sequencing, and characterized using conventional PCR analysis with E. tarda-specific virulence primer sets and antimicrobial susceptibility tests with a disk diffusion test. E. tarda was isolated from 12 fecal samples of 27 commercially popular pet turtles purchased through pet shops and online markets in Korea. All isolates were confirmed as E. tarda through biochemical analysis and 16S rRNA sequencing. PCR analysis showed that the virulence genes citC and wecC were present in all isolates and indicated their potential pathogenicity. The strains showed susceptibility against amikacin, amoxicillin, cefoxitin, ceftriaxone, ciprofloxacin, gentamicin, imipenem and streptomycin but were resistant to colistin and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole in disk diffusion test. Intermediate resistance was noted against ampicillin and nalidixic acid. Most isolates displayed resistance against tetracycline. These results indicate that pet turtles pose a potential risk of exposure to a zoonotic pathogen in humans from a public health standpoint.

Key words: Antimicrobial resistance, Edwardsiella tarda, Pet turtles, Virulence genes citC, wecC


ISSN 0253-8318 (Print)
ISSN 2074-7764 (Online)