The effect of oestrus and the presence of pouch young on aerobic bacteria isolated from the pouch of the tammar wallaby, Macropus eugenii

J. M. Old, E. M. Deane*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Qualitative changes in the culturable, aerobic bacterial flora isolated from the tammar pouch have been documented over the period leading up to oestrus, at the time of anticipated birth and in absence and presence of pouch young of varying ages. In a group of 12 animals studied thirty species of aerobic bacteria were isolated. Twenty five species were found in pouches with no pouch young, 9 in pouches with young less than 3 weeks of age and 9 in pouches containing older animals. Gram positive organisms including Cornyebacterium spp., Micrococcus spp. and Staphylococcus spp. were the most frequent isolates, regardless of reproductive status. Whilst Gram-negative rods Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterobacter aerogenes, and Escherichia coli were found in pouches with and without pouch young, but not in pouches close to oestrus, at the time of birth or in the presence of very young animals (< 6 days). While pouches without pouch young displayed the greatest diversity of bacterial species, there were still significant numbers of bacterial species in those containing pouch young. Results suggest that the microbial population of the tammar pouch does not seriously compromise the well-being of the young animal during crucial stages of immunological development. The data are consistent with observations on the microflora of the quokka pouch but not with data from the koala.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-245
Number of pages9
JournalComparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1998

Keywords

  • Immunocompetence
  • Marsupium
  • Microflora
  • Reproduction

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