Antibiotic resistance in staphylococci from pigeons
A total of 45 carrier pigeons were investigated for the nasal carriage of poentially pathogenic bacteria. Strains of Staphylococcus intermedius and Staphylococcus lentus were frequently isolated and most were resistant to one or more antibiotics which inhibit bacterial protein biosynthesis. In S. lentus, the respective resistance genes could be detected on small plasmids, whereas they were carried in the chromosome in S. intermedius. Thus, S. intermedius from pigeons appeared similar to S. intermedius from dogs, but differed from other pathogeni staphylococci of human and animal origin not only in its resistance pattern, but also in the location of the resistance genes. This observation might indicate a possible exchange of S. intermedius strains between pigeons and dogs and consequently identify pigeons as a potential source of infection for dogs.