Aeromonas spp., Vibrio parahaemolyticus, and Plesiomonas shigelloides are commonly implicated in foodborne and waterborne diarrheal illnesses of humans and other animals. The present study assessed the prevalence, biochemical characteristics, and antibiotic susceptibility of Aeromonas spp., V. parahaemolyticus, and P. shigelloides by analyzing samples from 729 sources at a zoo, including animal feces (n = 607), watering facilities (n = 104), and pond water samples (n = 18). Of the 729 samples collected, 40 (5.5%) contained one of these four species of bacteria: A. hydrophila (n = 16; 2.2%), A. sobria (n = 12; 1.6%), V. parahaemolyticus (n = 10; 1.4%), and P. shigelloides (n = 2; 0.3%). The 16 isolates of A. hydrophila came from three fecal samples, eight watering facilities, and five pond water samples. The 12 isolates of A. sobria came from four fecal samples, three watering facilities, and five pond water samples. The 10 isolates of V. parahaemolyticus came from one fecal sample and nine watering facilities. The two isolates of P. shigelloides came from one watering facility and one pond water sample. Of the 40 isolates, 16 (40.0%), 21 (52.5%), and three (7.5%) originated from mammals, birds, and reptiles, respectively. All isolates tested positive for NO3, tryptophan, p-nitrophenyl-β-D-galactopyranoside, glucose assimilation, N-acetyl-glucosamine, maltose, gluconate, malate, and oxidase. Aeromonas spp. and V. parahaemolyticus exhibited similar biochemical characteristics, whereas P. shigelloides exhibited distinct fermentation characteristics. All the isolated strains exhibited hemolytic activity; variable results of DNase, protease, and Congo red uptake tests; and resistance to ampicillin, bacitracin, novobiocin, penicillin, and vancomycin. All the strains were sensitive to amikacin, chloramphenicol, colistin, gentamicin, kanamycin, norfloxacin, and trimethoprim-sulfadimethoxazole. Because of the high proportion of asymptomatic carriers of these potentially pathogenic bacteria and their wide distribution, consistent monitoring of food and water sources is necessary to prevent disease outbreaks.
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