A study of 562 faecal samples collected from Australian Silver Gulls (seagulls) has demonstrated that these birds often extended-spectrum cephalosporin-resistant (21.7%) and fluoroquinolone-resistant (23.8%) E. coli bacteria. Genome sequencing revealed that E. coliisolates (n = 284) from gulls predominantly belonged to human-associated extra-intestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC) clonesand globally emerging fluoroquinolone-resistant organisms identified among humans worldwide. Comparative analysis revealed that isolates from the birds overlapped extensively with human clinical isolates from Australia and overseas. The study also demonstrated isolates of carbapenem-resistant E. coli and colistin-resistant E. coli. The researchers conclude that gulls can act as “ecological sponges” capable of accumulating and disseminating resistant bacteria over large distances. Read the original paper here