Comparative Clinical Pathology

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 279–283 | Cite as

The identification of bacterial flora in oral cavity of snakes

  • Rouhullah Dehghani
  • Mohammad Reza Sharif
  • Rezvan Moniri
  • Alireza Sharif
  • Hamed Haddad Kashani
Original Article


Snakebites are a great public health concern in tropical and subtropical countries. It cannot only cause poisoning but also yield some infections in victims. There are some pathogenic agents in snake’s oral flora. This study was carried out to determine bacterial agents existing in the oral cavity of venomous and non-venomous snakes in Kashan, Iran. Using sterile swabs, the samples were obtained in two stages from the oral cavity of 11 venomous and non-venomous snakes before feeding and 3 weeks later. Then, they were cultured on Mac Conkey blood agar mediums. Gram staining of all samples was performed. Appropriate mediums and tests were fulfilled to determine gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. The highest rate of infection belonged to coagulase-negative Staphylococcus (34.5 %) and the lowest rate was for Pseudomonas (3.1 %). Salmonella (18.8 %); Escherichia and Providencia (each 12.5 %); and Proteus, Enterococcus, and Bacillus (each 6.2 %) were other contributing pathogens found in snakes oral cavity. The obtained findings demonstrated significant bacterial pathogens in oral cavity of venomous and non-venomous snakes. Therefore, not only anti-venom treatment but also, due the probability of infections, the diagnosis and treatment should be considered in victims.


Bacterial flora Oral cavity Venomous snakes Non-venomous snakes 



We gratefully acknowledge Mr. Varaste, Abdolahi, Hoseinkhah, Davari, and Mrs. Sedaghat who are the honorable staff at the Environmental Health Research Laboratory of Kashan Medical Sciences University. Also, we thank Mr. Asadi who is one of the staff at Niasar Health Center and all those who helped us to fulfill this study.

Conflict of interest

The authors declared that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rouhullah Dehghani
    • 1
  • Mohammad Reza Sharif
    • 2
  • Rezvan Moniri
    • 3
  • Alireza Sharif
    • 4
  • Hamed Haddad Kashani
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Environmental HealthKashan University of Medical SciencesKashanIran
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsKashan University of Medical SciencesKashanIran
  3. 3.Department of MicrobiologyKashan University of Medical SciencesKashanIran
  4. 4.Department of Infection DiseasesKashan University of Medical SciencesKashanIran
  5. 5.Anatomical Sciences Research CenterKashan University of Medical SciencesKashanIran

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