Isolation and molecular characterization of multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria from imported flamingos in Japan

Acta Vet Scand. 2009 Nov 24;51(1):46. doi: 10.1186/1751-0147-51-46.


Imported animals, especially those from developing countries, may constitute a potential hazard to native animals and to public health. In this study, a new flock of lesser flamingos imported from Tanzania to Hiroshima Zoological Park were screened for multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria, integrons and antimicrobial resistance genes. Thirty-seven Gram-negative bacterial isolates were obtained from the flamingos. Seven isolates (18.9%) showed multidrug resistance phenotypes, the most common being against: ampicillin, streptomycin, tetracycline, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole and nalidixic acid. Molecular analyses identified class 1 and class 2 integrons, beta-lactamase-encoding genes, blaTEM-1 and blaCTX-M-2 and the plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance genes, qnrS and qnrB. This study highlights the role of animal importation in the dissemination of multidrug-resistant bacteria, integrons and antimicrobial resistance genes from one country to another.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Zoo / microbiology*
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology
  • Bird Diseases / microbiology*
  • Birds
  • Disk Diffusion Antimicrobial Tests
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial / genetics
  • Genes, MDR / genetics
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / classification
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / drug effects
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / genetics
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / physiology*
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / veterinary*
  • Japan
  • Tanzania


  • Anti-Infective Agents