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J Dairy Sci. 1989 Jul;72(7):1886-92.

Isolation and identification of coagulase-negative Staphylococcus species from bovine body sites and streak canals of nulliparous heifers.

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Department of Animal Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington 40546-0215.


Heifers (n = 103) ranging in age from 1d to 2 yr were sampled to determine the coagulase-negative staphylococcal flora of haircoat, nares, vagina, teat skin, and streak canal. A total of 2706 staphylococal strains were identified from 3612 bacterial isolates. Other genera or groups identified included Bacillus, Micrococcus, Corynebacterium, and coliforms. Staphylococci were identified utilizing a simplified biochemical scheme. Staphylococcus xylosus, S. chromogenes, and S. warneri were the predominant species recovered from anatomic sites and streak canal. Staphylococcal strains identified from specific body sites (expressed as percentage of heifers harboring these species) were: nares 74% S. xylosus and 48% S. warneri; haircoat, 70% S. xylosus and 57% S. chromogenes; vagina, 60% S. chromogenes and 54% S. xylosus; teat skin 62% S. chromogenes and 61% S. warneri; streak canal 53% S. chromogenes, and 43% S. warneri. The prevalent staphylococcal strains identified differed from heifers in confined housing compared with heifers on pasture. Differences observed in distribution of Staphylococcus species among body sites, particularly those between teat skin and streak canal, suggest that establishment of staphylococcal microflora depends on the ability of a species to adapt to and colonize anatomic sites as well as on environmental conditions present.

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