A survey was carried out to characterise the bacterial and mycoplasma flora of a closed colony of marmosets, Callithrix jacchus. Bordetella bronchiseptica and Staphylococcus aureus were the only potential bacterial pathogens isolated from the colony; Candida albicans was also identified. S aureus and C albicans were the only organisms which were associated with macroscopic lesions or overt disease. Post mortem examination of the animals proved only reliable method of establishing the presence of some bacterial species in the colony, eg, B bronchiseptica and of obtaining a reliable estimate of the incidence of the various organisms within the colony. The marmosets were all infected with ureaplasmas in the upper respiratory tract. Mycoplasma salivarium was isolated from this site in several animals. There was no evidence to indicate that cross-infection had occurred between the animal technicians and the marmosets, except in one possible case of candidiasis.
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