Patterns of Oral Bacterial Infection in Captive Snakes

J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1981 Dec 1;179(11):1223-6.


The bacterial isolates from culture specimens of snakes with infectious stomatitis were compared with those from culture specimens of the oral cavity of healthy captive snakes. Cloacal swab specimens were also taken from healthy snakes to compare their intestinal and oral bacterial populations. The healthy snakes had a predominantly gram-positive oral flora, with Corynebacterium spp and coagulase-negative Staphylococcus spp being the organisms isolated most frequently. The specimens from snakes with infectious stomatitis yielded predominantly gram-negative bacteria. The organisms most frequently isolated from these specimens were Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Providencia rettgeri, and P maltophilia. The cloacal swabbing of healthy snakes also resulted in the isolation of predominantly gram-negative organisms, suggesting that these bacteria are not exogenous pathogens but opportunistic invaders.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Zoo* / microbiology
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • Bacterial Infections / veterinary*
  • Corynebacterium / isolation & purification
  • Mouth / microbiology
  • Providencia / isolation & purification
  • Pseudomonas / isolation & purification
  • Snakes* / microbiology
  • Staphylococcus / isolation & purification
  • Stomatitis / microbiology
  • Stomatitis / veterinary*