Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria in Migratory Birds

Science Center Objects

Migratory birds, and particularly those using habitats close to human settlements, may be infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria.  The USGS is working with public health professionals to understand the role of birds in the maintenance and dispersal of antibiotic resistant bacteria.  Additionally, the USGS is investigating how antibiotic resistant bacteria in birds may relate to public and ecosystem health.

Return to Ecosystems >> Terrestrial Ecosystems or Wildlife Disease and Environmental Health

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria pose challenges to healthcare delivery systems globally; however, limited information is available regarding the prevalence and spread of such bacteria in the environment. The aim of this project is to compare the prevalence and genetic relatedness of antibiotic resistant bacteria in large-bodied gulls (Larus spp.) at locations across Alaska to gain inference into associations between antibiotic resistance in wildlife and anthropogenically influenced habitats.  Study locations include: Adak, Bethel, Cold Bay, the Kenai River, the Kasilof River, Middleton Island, Nome, Soldotna, and Utqiagvik.



Woman holding gull with satellite tag on it's back

Christina Ahlstrom holding a gull tagging with a satellite transmitter.
(Public domain.)