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Open Access Research

Multidrug resistant yeasts in synanthropic wild birds

Alexander Tiong Kah Lord, Kavitha Mohandas*, Sushela Somanath* and Stephen Ambu

Author Affiliations

The International Medical University, No.126, Jalan 19/155B, Bukit Jalil, 57000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials 2010, 9:11  doi:10.1186/1476-0711-9-11

Published: 23 March 2010

Abstract

Background

The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of multidrug resistant yeasts in the faeces of synanthropic wild birds from the Bangsar suburb of Kuala Lumpur.

Methods

Species characterisations of yeast isolates and determinations of antimycotic susceptibility profiles were undertaken using the commercial characterization kit, Integral System Yeasts Plus (Liofilchem, Italy).

Results

Fourteen species of yeasts were detected in the bird faecal samples.Candida albicans was present in 28.89% of bird faecal samples, Candida krusei (13.33%), Candida tropicalis (4.44%), Candida glabrata (4.44%), Candida parapsilosis (2.22%), Candida lambica (2.22%), Candida stellatoidea (2.22%), Candida rugosa (2.22%) and Candida lusitaniae (2.22%). Amongst the non-candidal yeast isolates, Cryptococcus laurentii was present in 6.67% of bird faecal samples, Cryptococcus uniguttulatus (4.44%), Saccharomyces cerevisiae (4.44%), Trichosporon pullulans (2.22%), Trichosporon pullulans/Cryptococcus albidus (8.89%) and Rhodotorula rubra/Rhodotorula glutinis (4.44%). Of the isolated yeasts, 18.1% (or 26/144) were found to be resistant to all 11 antimycotic agents they were tested against i.e. Nystatin, Amphotericin B, Flucytosine, Econazole, Ketoconazole, Clotrimazole, Miconazole, Itraconazole, Voriconazole, Fluconazole 16 and Fluconazole 64. 45.8% (or 66/144) of the bird faecal yeast isolates were resistant to four or more of the 11 antimycotic agents they were tested against.

Conclusions

This finding is of public health significance as these synanthropic wild birds may be reservoirs for transmission of drug resistant yeast infections to humans.