Anaerobic and aerobic bacteriology of the saliva and gingiva from 16 captive Komodo dragons (Varanus Komodoensis): New implications for the bacteria as venom model

Goldstein, Ellie J. C., Tyrrell, Kerin L., Citron, Diane M., Cox, Cathleen R., Recchio, Ian M., Okimoto, Ben, Bryja, Judith and Fry, Bryan G. (2013) Anaerobic and aerobic bacteriology of the saliva and gingiva from 16 captive Komodo dragons (Varanus Komodoensis): New implications for the bacteria as venom model. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, 44 2: 262-272. doi:10.1638/2012-0022R.1


Author Goldstein, Ellie J. C.
Tyrrell, Kerin L.
Citron, Diane M.
Cox, Cathleen R.
Recchio, Ian M.
Okimoto, Ben
Bryja, Judith
Fry, Bryan G.
Title Anaerobic and aerobic bacteriology of the saliva and gingiva from 16 captive Komodo dragons (Varanus Komodoensis): New implications for the bacteria as venom model
Journal name Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1042-7260
1937-2825
Publication date 2013-01-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1638/2012-0022R.1
Volume 44
Issue 2
Start page 262
End page 272
Total pages 11
Place of publication Yulee, FL United States
Publisher American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Subject 1103 Clinical Sciences
3400 Veterinary
Abstract It has been speculated that the oral flora of the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) exerts a lethal effect on its prey; yet, scant information about their specific oral flora bacteriology, especially anaerobes, exists. Consequently, the aerobic and anaerobic oral bacteriology of 16 captive Komodo dragons (10 adults and six neonates), aged 2-17 yr for adults and 7-10 days for neonates, from three U.S. zoos were studied. Saliva and gingival samples were collected by zoo personnel, inoculated into anaerobic transport media, and delivered by courier to a reference laboratory. Samples were cultured for aerobes and anaerobes. Strains were identified by standard methods and 16S rRNA gene sequencing when required. The oral flora consisted of 39 aerobic and 21 anaerobic species, with some variation by zoo. Adult dragons grew 128 isolates, including 37 aerobic gram-negative rods (one to eight per specimen), especially Enterobacteriaceae; 50 aerobic gram-positive bacteria (two to nine per specimen), especially Staphylococcus sciuri and Enterococcus faecalis, present in eight of 10 and nine of 10 dragons, respectively; and 41 anaerobes (one to six per specimen), especially clostridia. All hatchlings grew aerobes but none grew anaerobes. No virulent species were isolated. As with other carnivores, captive Komodo oral flora is simply reflective of the gut and skin flora of their recent meals and environment and is unlikely to cause rapid fatal infection.
Keyword Anaerobes
Bacteriology
Clostridia
Komodo dragon
Staphylococcus sciuri
Venom
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
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