ISSN: 2223-2133 (Online), 1815-8986 (Print)
Vol. 9, Number 2, December 2009
Bacterial Contamination of Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) eggs and sand in nesting chambers at Levera Beach, Grenada, West Indies - a preliminary study
Ulrike Zieger, Heather Trelease, Nicolas Winkler, Vanessa Mathew, Ravindra Sharma
The pilot study determines the potential role of bacterial contanimation of egg surfaces at the time of oviposition and in the sand of the nesting chambers in lowering hatchability. A total of 15 species of bacteria were isolated from 20 eggs and 17 sand samples of egg nests, with little overlap in the species spectrum between the eggs and sand. The most frequent bacteria found on the egg surface were Pseudomonas spp. followed by Citrobacter spp., Enterobacter cloacae and Morganella morganii, whereas from sand samples most frequent isolates were Bacillus spp. followed by Enterobacter spp. and Pseudomonas spp. All 15 isolated species are considered opportunistic pathogens, and could be potential causes for the reported lower hatchability. These pathogens also constitute a public health risk when eggs are consumed by humans. The majority of isolates showed antibiotic drug resistance, indicating environmental pollution.