species especially Proteus mirabilis
and Proteus vulgaris
are zoonotic pathogens often associated with drug resistance traits. They are of public health importance with zoonotic status. They have been globally associated with humans and poultry infections. Multidrug resistant strains of these organisms are routinely isolated from organs samples from carcasses of birds submitted for bacteriological diagnostic process in Nigeria with little or no information on their access route to poultry.
The uncontrolled close association of rats with poultry and other materials involved with poultry production in Nigeria, informed screening of 22 Proteus mirabilis
and 1 Proteus vulgaris
isolates from poultry houses rats, identified by standard methods. The isolates were further confirmed with Oxoid Microbact GNB 24E® (MB24E) and accompanying computer software package (Oxoid Microbact®) 2000 version 2.03 and by 16S ribosomal RNA PCR identification procedure. Their susceptibilities to 10 commonly used antibiotics using standard methods. Subsequently, the fluoroquinolone resistant isolates were PCR screened for point mutation at the gyrA of the quinolone resistant determining region. All the 23 isolates were multi-drug resistant, with 100% resistance to 6/10 of the antibiotics examined including: ceftazidime, amikacin, sulfamethoxazole, chloramphenicol, ampicillin and streptomycin. One of the 9, high fluoroquinolone resistant isolates MICs ranges 64µg/mL - >128µg/mL displayed 6 point mutations. This work identified rats as the possible source of multidrug resistant Proteus
species for poultry in Nigeria. It also exposes the potential public health risk of the rats transmission of drug resistant factors through the pathogens to humans involved with poultry production in the study area.