Microbiome and antimicrobial resistance genes in microbiota of cloacal samples from European herring gulls (Larus argentatus)


Introduction: The aim of the study was to determine microbiota in the cloacal samples of European herring gulls (Larus argentatus) and to compare a variety of genes encoding antimicrobial resistance in cultivable and non-cultivable bacteria.

Material and Methods: Cloacal samples from European herring gulls were collected from a Kaunas city dump. Cultivable microbiota were isolated, their microbial susceptibility was tested, and genes encoding antimicrobial resistance were detected. Additionally, a metagenomic study was performed using Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS).

Results: In total, 697 different operational taxonomic units at genus level were detected; however, only 63 taxonomic units were detected at the amount of ≥0.1% of the total number of DNA copies. Catellicoccus marimammalium was found to have the highest prevalence. The bacterial amount of other genera was up to 5% with the most highly prevalent being Psychrobacter (4.7%), Helicobacter (4.5%), unclassified Enterococcaceae (3.2%), Pseudomonas (2.9%), and Brachyspira (2.6%).

Conclusions:C. marimammalium are predominant microbiota in the cloacal samples of Larus argentatus. This species of gulls is a reservoir of bacteria carrying a wide-spectrum of genes encoding antimicrobial resistance. The same genes were detected in both cultivable microbiota and in the total DNA of the samples.

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