Bats are one of the most widely distributed mammals in the world, and they are reservoirs or carriers of several zoonoses. Bats were trapped in 27 geographic locations across Trinidad and Tobago, and following euthanasia, gastrointestinal tracts were aseptically removed. Contents were subjected to bacteriologic analysis to detect Salmonella spp., Escherichia coli, and Campylobacter spp. Isolates of Salmonella were serotyped, and E. coli isolates were screened for O157 strains and antimicrobial sensitivity to eight antimicrobial agents; phenotypic characteristics also were determined. Of 377 tested bats, representing 12 species, four bats (1.1%) were positive for Samonella spp, 49 (13.0%) were positive for E. coli, and no bats were positive for E. coli O157 strain or Campylobacter spp. Isolated serotypes of Salmonella included Rubislaw and Molade, both from Noctilio leporinus, a fish-eating bat, Caracas recovered from Molossus major, and Salmonella Group I from Molossus ater, both insect-eating bats. Of the 49 isolates of E. coli tested, 40 (82%) exhibited resistance to one or more antimicrobial agents, and the prevalence of resistant strains was comparatively high to erythromycin (61%) and streptomycin (27%) but lower to gentamycin (0%) and sulphamethozaxole/trimethoprim (2%).
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Vol. 45 • No. 4