Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is an important issue for both wildlife conservation and public health. The purpose of this study was to screen for AMR in fecal bacteria isolated from northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus), a species that is an ecologically and economically important natural resource in the southern United States. The antimicrobial susceptibility profiles of 45 Escherichia coli isolates, 20 Enterococcus faecalis isolates, and 10 Enterococcus faecium isolates were determined using the SensititerTM microbroth dilution minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) plate, AVIAN1F. Overall, E. coli isolates had high MIC values for the following classes of antimicrobials: aminocoumarins, beta-lactams, lincosamides, macrolides, florfenicol, and sulfonamides. Enterococcus faecalis and E. faecium isolates had high MICs for aminocyclitols, aminoglycosides, beta-lactams, lincosamides, and sulfonamides. Enterococcus faecalis isolates also showed high MICs for aminocoumarins, while E. faecium isolates had high MICs for trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole and tetracycline. Based on available veterinary interpretive criteria, 15% and 33% of E. coli isolates were resistant to sulphathiazole and sulphadimethoxine, respectively. Intermediate susceptibility to florfenicol was seen with 17.8% of E. coli isolates. Twenty percent of E. faecalis and 80% of E. faecium isolates were resistant to high-concentration streptomycin. One third of E. faecalis and 70% of E. faecium isolates were intermediately susceptible to erythromycin. Ten percent of E. faecium isolates were resistant to tetracycline and oxytetracycline. A comparison of available MIC suggests that AMR in wild bobwhite is less severe than in domestic poultry. Further investigation is needed to determine the source of AMR in wild bobwhite.
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Vol. 61 • No. 3