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Microbiology of the external ear canal in six African elephants (Loxodonta africana)
  1. S. K. Chinnadurai, DVM, MS1,
  2. W. K. Suedmeyer, DVM, DipACZM2 and
  3. W. H. Fales, MS, PhD3
  1. 1 Department of Clinical Sciences, North Carolina State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, 4700 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27606, USA
  2. 2 Kansas City Zoo, 6800 Zoo Drive, Kansas City, MO 64132, USA
  3. 3 Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, University of Missouri—Columbia, College of Veterinary Medicine, Columbia, MO 65205, USA
  1. E-mail for correspondence: sathya_chinnadurai{at}


Samples collected from both external ear canals of six adult female African elephants (Loxodonta africana) were cultured for fungi, yeasts and aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. All the samples produced heavy growths of several aerobic bacteria, but anaerobic bacteria were rare and no fungi or yeasts were isolated. The most common bacterium isolated was Staphylococcus epidermidis, which was cultured from 11 of the 12 ears. Acinetobacter calcoaceticus lwoffi, α-haemolytic Streptococcus and Corynebacterium species, and Aeromonas caviae were all isolated from at least six of the 12 ears.

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