Gram-negative bacterium isolated from cardinals (Paroaria coronata and P. dominicana) seized from illegal wildlife trade
Keywords:Wildlife illegal trade, Enterobacteria, Paroaria sp., Escherichia coli, Salmonella
Illegal wildlife trade removes millions of birds from nature every year. Among the most trafficked species of birds are red-crested cardinals (Paroaria coronata) and red-cowled cardinals (Paroaria dominicana). The cloacal microbiota of free-living passerines consists mainly of gram-positive bacilli and cocci, and gram-negative bacilli predominate in captive birds. Under stress and low immunity, gram-negative species may cause opportunistic infections. This study identified bacteria from cloacal microbiota of 49 specimens of P. coronata and P. dominicana seized from illegal wildlife trade in São Paulo (SP). In this study, 13 species of gram-negative bacteria, including Salmonella spp. and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were isolated. An increased occurrence of Escherichia coli was identified in 42/49 (85.7 %) of fecal samples. Among the E. coli strains, 21/42 belonging to the phylogenetic groups B2 and D, were related to extraintestinal pathogenic strains causing disease in humans. Klebsiella pneumoniae were isolated in 28/49 (57.1 %) samples. These results reinforce the fact that stressful conditions of illegal trade can favor the colonization of cloacal microbiota of these birds by pathogens, which represents a risk for their reintroduction into the wild, including the transmission of diseases to humans and other animals.
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