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Occurrence of Tannin-Protein Complex Degrading Streptococcus sp. in Feces of Various Animals

Ro Osawa1 and Lindsay I. Sly2

Veterinary Service and Research, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Fig Tree Pocket, Brisbane

2 Department of Microbiology, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Brisbane, Australia


Occurrence of tannin-protein complex (T-PC) degrading Streptococcus bovis in feces of 14 species of animals was investigated using a selective medium (colistin-oxolinic acid tannin-treated brain heart infusion). Strains of T-PC degrading S. bovis, all of which fermented mannitol, occurred commonly in browsing animals (koala, ringtail possum, deer) and omnivorous animals (guinea pig, pig, brushtail possum), whereas T-PC degrading S. bovis strains occurred less frequently in grazing herbivores (cattle, sheep, horse) and carnivores (dog, cat). Furthermore koalas and ringtail possums, whose diet was almost exclusively of tannin rich eucalypt leaves, had fecal streptococcal flora dominated by T-PC degrading S. bovis (59.9% for koalas; 59.1% for ringtail possums). Such dominance was never observed in any other animals examined.