Bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) populations are declining worldwide primarily due to anthropogenic factors. A captive breeding program has been established in Spain, a country with one of the largest free-living populations in Europe, to further enhance the conservation efforts of this emblematic species. However, captive vulture populations can be exposed to different risks through food, such as drug residues and antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) bacteria. Health surveillance of species involved in captive breeding programs is important to face introduction of healthy animals in situ and to obtain baseline clinical data. The objective of this study was to assess the general health status of bearded vultures held in captivity in Catalonia (northeastern Spain) by carrying out hematologic, biochemical, toxicologic, and bacteriologic analyses. A total of 16 bearded vultures were sampled; the data obtained from one vulture, with a chronic tibiotarsal fracture, were excluded from the statistical analysis. Hematologic and biochemical parameters of the bearded vultures were mostly within the range of standard values as stated in previous studies. Basal feather and serum corticosterone levels were analyzed and described for the first time in this species. A total of 15 Escherichia coli isolates were obtained that were resistant to fluoroquinolones (80%), tetracycline (60%), trimethoprim and ampicillin (40%), sulfamethoxazole (33%), and colistin (20%), with 40% of them being multidrug resistant. Three of 15 isolates were carriers of the mcr-1 gene. Only the injured bird previously treated with enrofloxacin was positive for fluoroquinolone residues. Periodic monitoring for the presence of AMR bacteria would be recommended in captive breeding programs as a preventive action to establish future therapies.
Idioma originalEnglish
Pàgines (de-a)464-472
Nombre de pàgines9
RevistaJournal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - de set. 2023


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