Cervical region lymph nodes collected by hunters from 43 wild hunter-harvested elk (Cervus elaphus) in Utah were submitted to the Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory during fall 2009. We evaluated these lymph nodes as specimens for identification of bacterial pathogens using 16S rRNA genetic sequencing. Thirty-seven bacterial species were identified; each was found in 2 to 30 individual elk. Many common ruminant livestock pathogens were identified in elk; pathogens previously reported in elk were Pasteurella multocida and Streptococcus spp. Cervical region lymph nodes harvested from wild ruminants appear to be acceptable samples for genetic sequencing of bacteria.

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