Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra Linnaeus, 1758) are present in a wide range of aquatic environments. Salmonella isolates have been obtained from otters at rehabilitation centers and in the wild and are sometimes associated with serious illnesses. Antimicrobial-resistant Salmonella were isolated from otter fecal samples collected in March 2006, September 2007, and March 2008 in two river basins in southern Portugal. From 67 samples tested, five were positive for Salmonella (7.58%). None of the isolates were susceptible to all antimicrobials tested, and all were resistant to multiple antimicrobials. Our results confirm the role of otters as potential carriers of Salmonella and the importance of environmental exposure to antimicrobial agents in selection for resistance in bacteria.
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Vol. 46 • No. 4