Deep muscle biopsies were collected from the pectoralis and longissimus dorsi of wild Weddell seals (Leptonychotes weddellii) in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, during October–December 2007. Sterile swabs were collected from the surface of each skin site before biopsy and from the deep-needle path after biopsy. No growth occurred in two of six pectoralis and three of six longissimus skin sites, or in four of 10 pectoralis deep biopsy and eight of 12 longissimus deep-biopsy sites. Positive skin culture was not predictive of deep-biopsy contamination, nor did contamination at one body location correlate with contamination at the second site. Psychrobacter species were most common in one or more samples from each of the four sample types. Only one of the eight documented bacteria exhibited resistance to commonly used antibiotics.
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Vol. 46 • No. 2