Nasal, oral and rectal microbiota of Black lion tamarins (Leontopithecus chrysopygus)
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Black lion tamarins (Leontopithecus chrysopygus) are endangered callithrichids. Their conservation may require future translocations or reintroductions; however these approaches involve risks of pathogen introduction in the environment and stress-related opportunistic infections in these animals. In order to screen for opportunistic and potential pathogenic bacterial and fungal microbiota, ten free-ranging and ten captive Black lion tamarins were studied and the results compared. Nasal, oral and rectal swabs were collected and cultured for aerobic and facultative anaerobic bacteria and fungi, and a total 203 bacterial and 84 fungal isolates were obtained. Overall, the most frequent organisms were Staphylococcus spp., Bacillus spp., Candida spp. and Aspergillus spp. Microbiota of free-ranging and captive animals were similar in composition. A number of potentially pathogenic organisms were identified, emphasizing the importance of microbiological screening in future translocation or reintroduction conservation management programs.