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International Journal of Microbiology
Volume 2017, Article ID 5798161, 8 pages
Research Article

Antibiotic Resistant Bacterial Isolates from Captive Green Turtles and In Vitro Sensitivity to Bacteriophages

1College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences, James Cook University, 1 Solander Drive, Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia
2Ausphage, Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia

Correspondence should be addressed to Alessandro Delli Paoli Carini; ua.ude.ucj.ym@iniraciloapilled.ordnassela

Received 2 March 2017; Accepted 16 August 2017; Published 24 September 2017

Academic Editor: Karl Drlica

Copyright © 2017 Alessandro Delli Paoli Carini et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study aimed to test multidrug resistant isolates from hospitalised green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and their environment in North Queensland, Australia, for in vitro susceptibility to bacteriophages. Seventy-one Gram-negative bacteria were isolated from green turtle eye swabs and water samples. Broth microdilution tests were used to determine antibiotic susceptibility. All isolates were resistant to at least two antibiotics, with 24% being resistant to seven of the eight antibiotics. Highest resistance rates were detected to enrofloxacin (77%) and ampicillin (69.2%). More than 50% resistance was also found to amoxicillin/clavulanic acid (62.5%), ceftiofur (53.8%), and erythromycin (53.3%). All the enriched phage filtrate mixtures resulted in the lysis of one or more of the multidrug resistant bacteria, including Vibrio harveyi and V. parahaemolyticus. These results indicate that antibiotic resistance is common in Gram-negative bacteria isolated from hospitalised sea turtles and their marine environment in North Queensland, supporting global concern over the rapid evolution of multidrug resistant genes in the environment. Using virulent bacteriophages as antibiotic alternatives would not only be beneficial to turtle health but also prevent further addition of multidrug resistant genes to coastal waters.