Oral bacterial flora of dogs with and without rabies: a preliminary study in Thailand

J Med Assoc Thai. 2003 Dec;86(12):1162-6.


The authors studied the bacterial flora of the dog oral cavity and of bite wounds, Aerobic bacteria were isolated from mouth swabs of 16 normal and 5 rabid dogs as well as from infected dog-bite wounds from 18 patients. A total of 20 different microbial species were recovered from mouth swab cultures. The most frequently isolated organisms were Klebsiella pneumoniae ssp pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Citrobacter freundii, Enterobacter cloacae, Acinetobacter calcoaceticus, and Pasteurella species. There were no differences in the aerobic bacterial flora between rabid and nonrabid dogs. From the cultures of the bite wound swabs, the authors found that almost all of the organisms identified were part of the normal oral flora of the dog. One or more aerobic bacteria were isolated from the infected dog-bite wounds. Two patients had four, 3 had three, 4 had two, and 6 had one of the nine organisms in their wounds. The predominant species of bacteria involved in infection of bite wounds were, as follows: Staphylococcus aureus, Pasteurella multocida, E. coli, Moraxella species, Pasteurella canis, and Enterobacter cloacae. However, three wound cultures had no aerobic bacterial growth. The results of this study show that the infected bite wounds may contain a mixed bacterial flora that colonize human skin and the oral cavity of dogs.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bites and Stings / microbiology*
  • Dogs / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Mouth / microbiology*
  • Rabies / microbiology*
  • Thailand