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Frogs host faecal bacteria typically associated with humans.

Authors
  • Gibb, Karen1
  • Schobben, Xavier2
  • Christian, Keith1
  • 1 a Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Northern Territory 0909, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 2 b Environmental Health Branch, Department of Health, P.O. Box 40596, Casuarina, Northern Territory 0810, Australia. , (Australia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Canadian Journal of Microbiology
Publisher
Canadian Science Publishing
Publication Date
Jul 01, 2017
Volume
63
Issue
7
Pages
633–637
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1139/cjm-2017-0119
PMID: 28414918
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Tree frogs commonly access drinking water tanks; this may have human health implications. Although amphibians might not be expected to host mammalian faecal indicator bacteria (FIB), it is possible that they may have human FIB on their skin after exposure to human waste. We collected faeces and skin wash from green tree frogs (Litoria caerulea) from a natural environment, a suburban site, and a suburban site near a creek occasionally contaminated with sewage effluent. We used molecular techniques to test for FIB that are routinely used to indicate human faecal contamination. Enterococci colonies were isolated from both faecal and skin wash samples, and specific markers (Enterococcus faecium and Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron) were found in frog faeces, demonstrating that these markers are not human- or mammalian-specific. Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron was detected in frogs from both natural and urban sites, but E. faecium was only associated with the sewage impacted site.

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