Cloacal and Ocular Microbiota of the Endangered Australian Northern Quoll.

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Journal Article
Microorganisms, 2018, 6 (3)
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The Australian northern quoll is an important predatory marsupial carnivore that is currently endangered due to inappropriate fire regimes, predation, and the spread of invasive cane toads. The microbiota of Australian marsupials has not been extensively studied, but is thought to play a role in their health. This study provides an initial characterization of the cloacal microbiota of the northern quoll, as well as other marsupials including possums and kangaroos which were opportunistically sampled. The northern quoll cloaca microbiota was dominated by Enterococcus and Lactobacillus and had a relatively high proportion of members of the Proteobacteria phylum, which has been observed in other carnivorous marsupials. The diversity and structure of the microbiota was not influenced by presence of Chlamydiales which are intracellular bacteria and potential pathogens. The microbiota of the other marsupials was quite varied, which may be related to their health status. Characterization of the northern quoll microbiota will help to better understand the biology of this endangered animal.
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