Antibiotics are important to the medical management of sea turtles in rehabilitation facilities. However, these drugs – as documented in other species – may alter gut microbiota, compounding health issues for these already sick or injured animals. Researchers will characterize the gut microbiota in healthy sea turtles (for baseline data) and in rehabilitating sea turtles receiving antibiotic therapy. The goal is to identify specific gut microbial species that thrive during antibiotic treatments. Findings will help direct future therapies, including the formulation of pre- and probiotics to restore gut health of rehabilitating sea turtles, as well as improve chances for these animals to fully recover and return to the wild.
Grant amount awarded
Loggerhead Marinelife Center
Maximilian Polyak, DVM, MPhil
Gastroenterology (Liver, Stomach, Intestinal Tract)