Poster Presentation Australian Society for Microbiology Annual Scientific Meeting 2018

Staphylococcaceae and Pasteurellaceae found in the oral flora of marsupials and dingoes (#218)

Pat Blackall 1 , Carmen Espinosa-Gongora 2 , Miki Bojesen 2
  1. The University of Queensland, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
  2. Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Universirty of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

We have sampled the oral flora of a total of 103 marsupials and 5 dingoes (a total of 21 host species).  The sampled animals were from a total of nine sites in the Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania.  A total of 42 of the animals were wild animals (or at least wild animals temporarily in care) and the remainder were all zoo or sanctuary animals.  The oral swabs were placed in transport media and were cultured within 24 hours.  The swabs were plated onto 5% sheep blood agar, MacConkey agar, Mannitol Salt Agar (MSA) and into Muller-Hinton broth containing 6.5% NaCl.  The modified Muller-Hinton broth was cultured onto MSA after overnight incubation at 37C. Suspect Pasteurellaceae were identified by colony morphology. Isolates that were catalase positive and Gram negative were regarded as “possible” Pasteurellaceae.  Isolates that grew with typical morphology on MSA were regarded as “possible” Staphylococcaceae. All suspect isolates were then identified (if possible) by MALDI-TOF.  A total of 427 isolates were obtained with 16 being confirmed Pasteurellaceae and 135 confirmed Staphylococcaceae. The largest sub-set of isolates (201) were organisms that the MALDI-TOF system could not identify but which had suggested identifications (at a low score) that included members of the Pasteurellaceae.  The confirmed identifications included Pasteurella multocida from Tasmanian Devils, Eastern Quolls and Norhtern Quolls. Staphylococcus aureus was obtained from a range of animals – Tasmanian Devil, Koala, Red Kangaroo, Grey Kangaroo, Red-necked Wallaby, Northern Quoll, Eastern Quoll, Spotted-tailed Quoll, Brushtail Possum and Ringtailed Possum.  Overall, the members of the family Pasteurellaceae and Staphylococcaceae are common members of the oral flora of marsupials and dingoes.  The failure of the MALDI-TOF to confidently identify a large set of apparent members of the Pasteurellaceae suggests the possibility of novel taxa, although the data-base library lacks many of the currently recognised members of the Pasteurellaceae.