Cloacal or fecal Gram's stains and bacterial cultures are routinely performed during avian physical examinations to assess the microbial flora of the gastrointestinal tract. Although cloacal or fecal Gram's stains and bacterial cultures are considered routine diagnostic procedures, the level of agreement between the individual tests has not been determined. To investigate the level of agreement between results from Gram's stain and bacterial culture when used to assess cloacal or fecal samples from psittacine birds, samples were taken from 21 clinically healthy Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis) and tested by Gram's stain cytology and bacterial culture. Most bacteria (97.2%) identified by Gram's stain were gram positive. However, gram-negative organisms were identified in 7 of 21 (33.3%; 95% confidence interval: 13.3%–53.3%) birds. Escherichia coli was the only gram-negative organism identified on culture. Agreement between results of Gram's stain and culture was fair (weighted κ = 0.27). The results of this study suggest that Gram's stains and bacterial culture may need to be performed with a parallel testing strategy to limit the likelihood of misclassifying the microbial flora of psittacine patients.
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