Aerobic bacteria were collected from three free-ranging desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) populations in the eastern Mojave Desert (Arizona, Utah; USA) from 1989 to 1993, and from two free-ranging populations in the central Sonoran Desert (Arizona, USA) from 1990 to 1994. Six species of nasal bacteria and 18 species of cloacal bacteria were identified. At least one potential pathogen was found in the nasal cavity (Pasteurella testudinis), and at least two potential pathogens in the cloaca (Pseudomonas spp., Salmonella spp.).

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