Bacteriophage versus antibiotic therapy on gut bacterial communities of juvenile green turtle, Chelonia mydas

Ahasan, Md. Shamim, Kinobe, Robert, Elliott, Lisa, Owens, Leigh, Scott, Jenni, Picard, Jacqueline, Huerlimann, Roger, and Ariel, Ellen (2019) Bacteriophage versus antibiotic therapy on gut bacterial communities of juvenile green turtle, Chelonia mydas. Environmental Microbiology. (In Press)

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Abstract

Green turtles are endangeredmarine herbivorous hindgut fermenters that contribute to a variety of marine ecosystems. Debilitated turtles are often rehabilitated in turtle hospitals. Since accurate diagnosis of disease is difficult, broad-spectrum antibiotics are routinely used as a general treatment, potentially causing collateral damage to the gut microbiome of the patient. Here, we evaluated the concept of the application of bacteriophage (phages) to eliminate targeted intestinal bacteria as an alternative to a broad-spectrum antibiotic (enrofloxacin) in clinically healthy, captive green turtles. Additionally, the impact of a broad-spectrum antibiotic (enrofloxacin) and phage therapy on the gut bacterial communities of green turtles was evaluated. Gut bacterial communities in faecal samples were analysed by sequencing the V1-V3 regions of the bacterial 16S rRNA. Bacteria-specific phage cocktails significantly (P<0.05) reduced targeted Acinetobacter in phage-treated turtles during the therapy. Compared to control, no significant difference was observed in the bacterial diversity and compositions in phage-treated turtles. In contrast, bacterial diversity was significantly (P < 0.05) reduced in antibiotic-treated turtles at day 15 and throughout the trial. The alteration in the bacterial microbiota of antibiotic-treated turtles was largely due to an increase in abundance of Gram-positive Firmicutes and a concurrent decrease in Gram-negative Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria and Verrucomicrobia. Additionally, we observed the relative abundance of several bacteria at lower taxonomic level was much less affected by phages than by antibiotics. These data offer the proof of concept of phage therapy to manipulate transient as well as indigenous bacterial flora in gut-related dysbiosis of turtles.

Item ID: 58897
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1462-2920
Copyright Information: © 2019 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Funders: James Cook University (JCU)
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2019 23:25
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070712 Veterinary Virology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960402 Control of Animal Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 100%
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