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Microbiology. 1999 Oct;145 ( Pt 10):2663-71.

The distribution of enteric bacteria from Australian mammals: host and geographical effects.

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Division of Botany & Zoology, Australian National University, Canberra.


Bacteria of the family Enterobacteriaceae were isolated from 642 mammalian hosts, representing 16 families and 79 species, collected from throughout Australia. Escherichia coli was the most common of the 24 enteric species recovered and represented almost half of the isolates. Association analysis revealed that most other species of bacteria were less likely to be recovered from hosts in which E. coli was present. The composition of the enteric community of a host was found to be determined by both the taxonomic family to which the host belonged and the geographical area from which the host was collected. Hosts collected from the northern areas of Queensland and the Northern Territory had more diverse enteric communities than hosts collected from New South Wales or Western Australia. Hosts of the families Petauridae and Vespertilionidae had more diverse enteric communities than did members of the Macropodidae or Phalangeridae. The probability of occurrence of Citrobacter freundii, Enterobacter cloacae, Escherichia coli, Hafnia alvei, Klebsiella oxytoca and K. pneumoniae in a host was found to vary with respect to host family and/or host locality. The non-random distribution of these species demonstrates the presence of extensive population structure and may suggest the existence of adaptations specific to both the primary and secondary habitats of these enteric bacteria.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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