Seagulls harbor antibiotic resistant bacteria

Sep 20, 2010

Analysis of seagull droppings has revealed that one in ten carry 'superbug' bacteria, resistant to the last-resort antibiotic Vancomycin. Researchers writing in BioMed central's open access journal Proteome Science investigated 57 migratory seagull samples recovered from an island off the coast of Portugal.

Gilberto Igrejas from the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Portugal, worked with a team of researchers to carry out the study. He said, "We used a novel technique called proteomics to detect the maximum number of bacterial proteins which are thought to be connected in some, as yet unknown, way to . Our comprehensive description of the proteins that we found may provide new targets for development of antimicrobial agents. This knowledge may also help to identify new biomarkers of antibiotic resistance and virulence factors".

The seagulls studied (Larus cachinnans) are migratory birds that can be found across Europe, including the South East of England. They are opportunistic marine feeders, and will readily eat the food sources provided by humans, especially garbage. It is thought that they may represent one way that antibiotic resistance genes can be spread from place to place. According to Igrejas, "Migrating birds that fly and travel long distance can act as transporters, or as reservoirs, of antibiotic resistant and may consequently have a significant epidemiological role in the dissemination of resistance".

Explore further: Growing a blood vessel in a week

More information: Proteomic characterization of vanA-containing Enterococcus recovered from Seagulls at the Berlengas Nature Reserve, W Portugal
Hajer Radhouani, Patrícia Poeta, Luís Pinto, Júlio Miranda, Céline Coelho, Carlos Carvalho, Jorge Rodrigues, María López, Carmen Torres, Rui Vitorino, Pedro Domingues and Gilberto Igrejas Proteome Science (in press)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Polar bear droppings advance superbug debate

Jan 14, 2010

Scientists investigating the spread of antibiotic-resistant superbugs have gone the extra mile for their research - all the way to the Arctic. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Microbiology found ...

European league-tables for antibiotic resistance revealed

Jul 08, 2008

Tests of antibiotic resistance in cattle have revealed stark variation across thirteen European countries. The results, published today in BioMed Central’s open-access journal Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica, show that major ...

Antibiotic resistant bacteria found in fertilizer

May 29, 2009

Vancomycin resistant enterococci (VRE) have been found in sewage sludge, a by-product of waste-water treatment frequently used as a fertilizer. Researchers writing in the open access journal Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica point out the ...

Recommended for you

Growing a blood vessel in a week

22 hours ago

The technology for creating new tissues from stem cells has taken a giant leap forward. Three tablespoons of blood are all that is needed to grow a brand new blood vessel in just seven days. This is shown ...

Testing time for stem cells

Oct 24, 2014

DefiniGEN is one of the first commercial opportunities to arise from Cambridge's expertise in stem cell research. Here, we look at some of the fundamental research that enables it to supply liver and pancreatic ...

Team finds key signaling pathway in cause of preeclampsia

Oct 23, 2014

A team of researchers led by a Wayne State University School of Medicine associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology has published findings that provide novel insight into the cause of preeclampsia, the leading cause ...

Rapid test to diagnose severe sepsis

Oct 23, 2014

A new test, developed by University of British Columbia researchers, could help physicians predict within an hour if a patient will develop severe sepsis so they can begin treatment immediately.

User comments : 0