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Screening of Elephants participating in the Esala Perahera for zoonotic and multidrug resistant bacteria

Authors:

G.D.B.N. Kulasooriya ,

Department of Veterinary Public Health and Pharmacology, University of Peradeniya, LK
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P.P. Jayasekara,

Department of Veterinary Public Health and Pharmacology, University of Peradeniya, LK
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J.M.S.M. Wijayarathna,

Department of Veterinary Public Health and Pharmacology, University of Peradeniya, LK
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M.K.U.T Amarasiri,

Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of Peradeniya, LK
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B.C.G. Mendis,

Allied Health Sciences, University of Peradeniya, LK
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A. Siribaddana,

Respiratory Unit, Teaching Hospital Kandy, LK
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A. Dangolla,

Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of Peradeniya, LK
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R.S. Kalupahana,

Department of Veterinary Public Health and Pharmacology, University of Peradeniya, LK
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B.R. Fernando

Department of Veterinary Public Health and Pharmacology, University of Peradeniya, LK
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Abstract

During religious, cultural and other human entertainment activities domesticated elephants come into close contact with humans creating a potential disease transmission threat between elephants and humans. The main objective of the study was to screen the elephants participated in the Esala Perahera 2015 for the zoonotic bacterial pathogens namely Salmonella, Campylobacter and Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex. Further, the antimicrobial susceptibility of the fecal E. coli and zoonotic pathogens isolated were determined to identify multidrug resistant organisms. The isolation rates for E.coli and Salmonella were 100% and 8%, respectively while Campylobacter was not isolated from any of the fecal samples collected. Three of the four Salmonella isolates were resistant to ampicillin and tetracycline and all four isolates were susceptible to nalidixic acid, streptomycin, gentamicin, ciprofloxacin, sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim combination, cefotaxime, ceftazidime, ceftriaxone, imipenem and amikacin. A number of E.coli isolates were resistant to ampicillin (8%), sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim combination (8%), tetracycline (8%), ceftriaxone (8%), amikacin (6%), nalidixic acid (4%), imipenem (4%), gentamicin (2%), streptomycin (2%), ceftazidime (2%) and ciprofloxacin (2%). However, all tested E.coli isolates were susceptible to cefotaxime. Further, 8% of the E. coli isolates showed resistance to three or more antimicrobial groups used and can be classified as multidrug resistant. None of the elephants yielded a positive result for the fecal PCR assay indicating that the animals did not excrete pathogenic mycobacteria in their feces.
How to Cite: Kulasooriya, G.D.B.N. et al., (2016). Screening of Elephants participating in the Esala Perahera for zoonotic and multidrug resistant bacteria. Sri Lanka Veterinary Journal. 63(1), pp.9–13. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/slvj.v63i1.2
Published on 30 Jun 2016.
Peer Reviewed

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