Revista de Biología Tropical ISSN Impreso: 0034-7744 ISSN electrónico: 2215-2075

Presence of enterobacteria in free-living and captive Amazon turtle Podocnemis expansa (Podocnemididae: Testudines).
PDF (Español (España))
HTML (Español (España))


tortuga amazónica
Podocnemis expansa
flora gastrointestinal
vida libre.
amazon turtle
Podocnemis expansa

How to Cite

Meyer Junio, J. C., Marinho, M., Vidovix Táparo, C., Bosco da Costa, J., & Tavares Dias, H. L. (2015). Presence of enterobacteria in free-living and captive Amazon turtle Podocnemis expansa (Podocnemididae: Testudines). Revista De Biología Tropical, 63(4), 1083–1089.


The turtle Podocnemis expansa is an important wildlife species from the Amazon rainforest of Brazil. This also represents an important resource for coastal communities, as it has been historically consumed as food. Nevertheless, besides the sustainability issues, recent concerns have been raised over the health of the animals and possible impacts on public health. The aim of this study was to compare the occurrence of Enterobacteriaceae in the intestinal tract of captive and free living Amazon turtles. We examined a total of 116 adult turtles, including 51 free individuals from the island of Sao Miguel, in Santarém (Pará-PA) town, 50 captive business, and 15 from a conservation breeding area, located in the metropolitan area of Belém (PA). In total we obtained 245 bacterial growths in which 83 (33.8 %) were from the free ranging turtles, and 162 (65.7 %) isolates from captive animals. The species Klebsiella pneumoniae was the most frequent, with 52 isolates, totaling 21.2 % of bacterial growth, followed by Enterobacter cloacae 29 % (35/14), Serratia marcescens 84 % (29/11), and Salmonella spp. 80 % (24/9). In free ranging turtles the most commonly isolated microorganisms were Enterobacter spp., Klebsiella spp., and Citrobacter spp.; while Aeromonas spp., Klebsiela pneumoniae, S. marcescens, E. cloacae and Salmonella spp. were the most frequently identified microorganisms in captive animals. Results showed a greater diversity of microorganisms among the wild animals, and a high contamination per sample on captive animals. The species of Salmonella spp., E. coli and Acinetobacter spp. can be used as indicators of the sanitary quality of Amazon turtle populations. The habitat influenced the composition of the gastrointestinal flora of turtles. Knowledge of the gastrointestinal flora of animals is important for the identification of pathogens present in the native fauna of the Amazon region.
PDF (Español (España))
HTML (Español (España))


Almeida, C. G. (2007). Fontes e disponibilidade de cálcio e fósforo para a tartaruga daamazônia - Podocnemis expansa criada em cativeiro (Dissertação de Mestrado). Universidade Estadual Paulista, Jaboticabal, SP, Brasil.

Alves, R. R. N., Vieira, K. S., Santana, G. G., Vieira, W. L. S., Almeida, W. O., Souto, W. M. S., ... Pezutti, J. C. B. (2012). A review on human attitutes towards reptiles in Brazil. Environmental Monitoring Asses,184, 5877-6901.

Diário oficial da República Federativa do Brasil. (2008). Instrução Normativa n. 169, 20 de Fevereiro 2008. Brasília. FF. Publicação no Diário Oficial da União no dia 27/04/2007.

Christoffersen, L. E. (1994). IUCN: A Bridge-Builder for Nature Conservation. Green Globe YearBook. Retrieved from

Dickinson, V. M., Duck, T., Schwalbe, C. R., Jarchow, J. L., & Trueblood, M. H. (2001). Nasal and cloacal bacteria in free-racing desert tortoises from Western United States. Journal of Wildlife Disease, 37(2), 252-257.

Ebani, V. V., Cerri, D., Fratini, F., Meille, N., Valentini, P., & Andreani, E. (2005). Salmonella enteric isolates from faeces of domestic reptiles and a study of their antimicrobial in vitro sensitivity. Veterinary Science, 78, 117-121.

Fowler, M. E. (1978). Zoo and wild animal medicine. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders.

Hupton, G., Portocarrero, S., Newman, M., & Westneat, D. F. (2003). Bacteria in the reproductive tracts of red-winged blackbirds. The Condor, 105(3), 453-464.

Jacobson, E. R. (1986). Health assessment of chelonians and release in to the wild. In M. E. Foller, R. E. Miller, & W. B. Saunder (Eds.), Zoo & Wild Animal Medicine: Current Therapy, 4 (pp. 241) USA.

Johnson, P. T. J. (2006). Amphibian diversity: Decimation by disease. National Academy of Sciences, 103(9), 3011-3012.

Keesing, F., Holt, R. D., & Ostfeld, R. S. (2006). Effects of species diversity on disease risk. Ecology Letters, 9(14), 485-498.

Koneman, E. W., Allen, S. D., Janda, W. M., Schreckenberger, P. C., & Winn, W. C. J. (2001). Bacilos Gram-Negativos Não-Fermentadores. In E. W. Koneman, S. D. Allen, W. M. Janda, P. C. Schreckenberger, & W. C. J. Winn (Eds.), Diagnóstico Microbiológico-Texto e Atlas Colorido (pp. 264-329). Rio de Janeiro: Editora Medsi.

Melo, L. A. S., Izel, A. C. U., Hossaine-Lima, M. G., Silva, A. V., & Andrade, P. C. M. (2004). Criação de tartarugas da Amazônia (Podocmenis expansa): alternativa ecológica, técnica e econômica ao agronegócio amazônico. In Seminário de criação e manejo de quelônios no Amazonas. Manaus: IBAMA, UFAM Embrapa Amazônia Ocidental.

Mermin, J., Hutwagner, L., Vugia, D., Shallow, S., Daily, P., Bender, J., Koehler, J., Marcus, R., & Angulo, F. J. (2004). Reptiles, Amphibians, and human Salmonella infections: a population based, case- control study. Clinical Infection Disease, 38, 253-261.

Millan, J., Aduris, G., Moreno, B., Juste, R. A., & Barral, M. (2004). Salmonella isolates from wild birds and mammals in the Basque Country (Spain). Revue Scientifique et Techinique Office International des Epizoories, 23(3), 905-911.

Miller, R. E. (1999). Quarantine: A necessity for zoo and aquarium animals. In M. E. Fowler (Ed.), Zoo & Wild Animal Medicine: Current therapy (pp. 13-17). Philadelphia: Saunders.

Montgomery, J. M., Gillespie, D., Sastrawan, P., Fredeking, T. M., & Stewart, G. L. (2002). Aerobic salivary bacteria in wild and captive komodo dragons. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 38(3), 545-551.

Nakadai, A., Kuroki, T., Kato, Y., Suzuki, R., Yamai, S., Yaginuma, C., … Hayashidani, H. (2005). Prevalence of Salmonella spp. in pet reptiles in Japan. Journal of Veterinary Medical Science, 67(1), 97-101.

Novak, S. S., & Siegel, R. A. (1986). Gram-negative septicemia in American alligators (Alligator missisipiensis). Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 22, 484-487.

Pantoja-Lima, J., Aride, P. H. R., Oliveira, A. T., Silva, D. F., & Pezzuti, J. C. B. (2014). Chain of commercialization of Podocnemis spp. turtles (Testudines: Podocnemididae) in the Purus River, Amazon basin, Brazil: current status and perspectives. Journal of Ethobiology and Ethnomedicine, 10, 8. Retrieved from

Pascoal, G. V. T., & Ribeiro, S. C. A. (2003). Enterobacteriaceae isoladas de animais (Lobo Guará Chrysocyon brachyurus, macaco prego Cebusapella, cachorro do mato Cerdocyonthous, furão Galictisvitatta) e de funcionários do zoológico Parque do Sabiá, em Uberlândia, Minas Gerais em 2002. Anais do Congresso de zoológicos do Brasil. Bauru, SP, Brasil.

Quinn, P. J., Carter, M. E., & Markey, B. (1994). Clinical Veterinary Microbiology. London: Wolfe.

Renter, D. G., Gnad, D. P., Sargeant, J. M., & Hygnstrom, S. E. (2006). Prevalence and Serovars of Salmonella in the feces of free-ranging white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Nebraska. Short communication. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 42(3), 699-703.

Santoro, M., Orrego, C. M., & Gómez, G. H. (2006). Flora bacteriana cloacal y nasal de Lepdochelys olivacea (Testudines: Chelonidae) en el pacífico norte de Costa Rica. Revista de Biologia Tropical, 54(1), 43-49.

Ward, L. (2000). Salmonella perfils pet reptiles. Communicable Disease and Public Health, 3(1), 2-3.



Download data is not yet available.