[MARMAM] New publication in the journal Oceans

Stephanie Norman stephanie at marine-med.com
Mon Jan 25 08:03:07 PST 2021

My co-authors and I would like to announce the publication of our recent

Antibiotic Resistance of Bacteria in Two Marine Mammal Species, Harbor
Seals and Harbor Porpoises, Living in an Urban Marine Ecosystem, the Salish
Sea, Washington State, USA

by Stephanie A. Norman, Dyanna M. Lambourn, Jessica L. Huggins, Joseph K.
Gaydos, Sandra Dubpernell, Susan Berta, Jennifer K. Olson, Victoria Souze,
Alysha Evans, Betsy Carlson, Mandi Johnson, Rachel Mayer, Cathy King,
Alyssa Scott

The pervasive use of antibiotics in human medicine, veterinary medicine,
and agriculture can result in a significant increase in the spread and
environmental persistence of antibiotic resistance in marine ecosystems.
This study describes the presence and distribution of antibiotic-resistant
bacteria in Salish Sea harbor seals (*Phoca vitulina*) and harbor porpoises
(*Phocoena phocoena*) and evaluates species, age class, and geographic
differences in resistance patterns. Isolates from 95 dead-stranded animals
(74 seals/21 porpoises) were tested for resistance to a suite of 15
antibiotics. Of the 95 sampled, 85 (89%) (67 seals/18 porpoises)
successfully yielded 144 isolates, with 37% resistant to at least one
antibiotic and 26% multi-drug resistant (24% and 39% of seal and porpoise
isolates, respectively). Overall, and by study region, porpoises were
significantly more likely to harbor resistant organisms compared to seals.
Significant differences between age classes were noted for the antibiotics
amoxicillin, cephalexin, and cefovecin. Overall isolate resistance was
significantly greater in porpoises than seals for several individual
antibiotics. Multiple antibiotic resistance (MAR) indices greater than 0.2
were observed in 55% of multi-drug resistant isolates, suggesting seal and
porpoise exposure to anthropogenic pollution. The relatively high and
disparate prevalence of antibiotic resistance in these common, but
ecologically dissimilar, marine mammals reflects a potentially large
environmental pool of antibiotic resistant organisms in the Salish Sea or
inherently different resistance gene patterns between the two species.

Full text .pdf available here:

Thank you,
Stephanie Norman

Stephanie A. Norman, DVM, MS, PhD
Marine-Med: Marine Research, Epidemiology, and Veterinary Medicine
E-mail: stephanie at marine-med.com
Phone: 206-321-0249
Marine-Med website <https://www.marine-med.com/> | Facebook
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