To assess implications for public health we compared the resistance of Enterococcus spp. strains to antibacterial drugs in wild and exotic animals with strains originating in domesticated animals and characterized correlations between Enterococcus species, the source of the isolate, and the degree of resistance to selected antibiotics. All strains, regardless of source, were susceptible to β-lactams, gentamicin, linezolid, and teicoplanin; the highest resistance was to kanamycin, quinupristin, and rifampicin. Thirteen strains from undomesticated animals were resistant to vancomycin, and one strain, from a fox, was resistant to streptomycin (high-dose). Multidrug-resistant strains accounted for 46% of the strains from wild animals and 59% of the strains from an exotic animal (the Russian tortoise; Testudo horsfieldii). Despite the relatively low level of resistance in the strains isolated from wild and exotic animals, the large number of intermediately susceptible strains in these groups is an indication of the evolutionary character of the development of resistance, suggesting that these animals may be potential reservoirs of Enterococcus strains resistant to a wide panel of currently used antibiotics.
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Vol. 50 • No. 3