We documented the normal conjunctival bacterial flora from 17 opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and 10 raccoons (Procyon lotor) trapped in Manhattan, Kansas (USA) from November 1999 to January 2000. Both raccoons and opossums were free of apparent ocular disease. The inferior conjunctival sacs of each animal were swabbed for aerobic bacterial and Mycoplasma culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for Mycoplasma and Chlamydia detection. All conjunctival samples were positive for one or more species of aerobic bacteria. The most common isolate from opossums was Staphylococcus spp. Other isolates included Streptococcus spp., Bacillus spp., Corynebacterium spp., and Enterococcus faecalis. The most common isolate in raccoons was Bacillus spp. Other isolates included Streptococcus spp., Staphylococcus spp., non-hemolytic Escherichia coli, and Enterococcus faecalis. Mycoplasma culture was negative in samples from opossums and raccoons. Evidence of Mycoplasma and Chlamydia presence was detected by PCR.
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Vol. 38 • No. 4