The Persistence of the Bacterium Serratia Marcescens in the Intestinal Tracts of Turtles
Russo, Shirley, Sister
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The problem. The persistence of Serratia marcescens in the intestinal tracts of turtles was investigated. Procedure. Food pellets were injected with Serratia marcescens and fed to the experimental turtles. The retention time of S. marcescens in the intestinal tracts of three genera of turtles was measured by the recovery of the bacteria in fecal and tank water samples collected every 24 hours and plated on tryptic soy agar and an asparagine enriched agar. Findings. §erratia marcascens was recovered from 28.3% of the experimental turtles in the first fecal or water samples collected following the introduction of the bacterium into the host turtles. In the fifth fecal or water samples, 1.8% of the turtles showed positive cultures and S. marcescens was not isolated after the fifth sampling time. Conclusion. Serratia marcescens cannot persist in the intestinal tracts of turtles for a period longer than five days with the average retention time being two days. Recommendations. Additional study should be undertaken to determine the environmental conditions prevailing in the alimentary tracts of turtles. Attention should be directed toward the isolation, identification and enumeration of the genera of bacteria successfully colonating the digestive tract and the identification of the bactericidal substances operative in the turtle's alimentary tract.
30 leaves. Advisor: Dr. Rodney A. Rogers