Inhibitory action of thymol on fecal microbial activity in Tamandua tetradactyla and its effect on glucocorticoid metabolite measurement.

Gen Comp Endocrinol 2019 Sep 16;280:91-96. Epub 2019 Apr 16.

Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología de los Alimentos and Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales (FCEFyN), Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (UNC), Argentina.

Faecal glucocorticoid measurement is a potentially important tool for improving wildlife conservation, but its use is still limited by methodological issues including the need to avoid modifications of steroids by faecal microorganisms during storage. The freezing of faeces is recommended as a means of avoiding such alterations, but this is costly under non-controlled environmental conditions. The present study was designed to determine whether the application of thymol reduced the proliferation of microorganisms in the faeces of Tamandua tetradactyla and whether it influenced faecal glucocorticoid metabolite (FGM) measurements. Tamandua tetradactyla faeces were individually collected after defaecation, divided into fractions (5.5 g each) and kept in sealed glass Petri dishes at 22 ± 2 °C. A thymol solution (550 µL; 5 mg g feces; 80% ethanol) or an 80% ethanol solution (550 µL, control) was added before storage of faeces. Negative controls for FGM consisted of samples without thymol or ethanol solutions. All samples were evaluated at 0, 24, 48 and 72 h post-defaecation. Thymol was first incubated with a glucocorticoid standard in a faeces-free tube or in a faecal sample in order to determine whether it interfered with FGM measurements. Data showed that thymol did not affect FGM measurements. Post-defaecation time caused a significant reduction in FGM measurements in the negative control, an increment at 48 h in the control, and no change in FGM measurements in thymol treatment. FGM measurements were significantly different between groups (negative control > control - treatment). Thymol caused a significant reduction of up to three orders of magnitude in total coliforms, total aerobic and anaerobic heterotrophic mesophilic bacteria, mold and yeast per gram of faeces at 24, 48 and 72 h. The reduction in microbial activity presumably contributed to the stability of FGM over time. Spore-forming bacteria (SFB) in faeces were not reduced by thymol. We propose thymol as an alternative to freezing since it stabilizes FGMs for at least 3 days after collection in the faeces of Tamandua tetradactyla.

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Source
https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S00166480183024
Publisher Site
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygcen.2019.04.015DOI Listing

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September 2019
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