Little is known about the normal bacterial flora of the skin of birds. To identify the bacterial organisms that reside on the integument of companion psittacine birds in a normal physiologic state, skin cultures were taken from 75 psittacine birds comprising 25 Congo African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus), 25 budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), and 25 cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus). All birds were adults and in good health with no underlying identifiable diseases, had not been on antibiotics in the preceding 2 months or longer, and had no skin or feather abnormalities. Cultures were taken from the axillary region and incubated on bovine blood agar plates. Positive cultures were identified for 52 out of 75 birds, and a total of 89 bacterial colonies grew. The most frequently identified bacterial organisms belonged to the genus Staphylococcus followed by Corynebacterium. Several other genera of bacteria were also isolated. Of the 89 bacterial colonies, 25 were identified to the species level and 50 to the genus level, and 14 were identified as either a nonfermenter or coliform.
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