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Aims: To examine the presence of lactic acid bacteria (LAB: enterococci, streptococci and lactobacilli) in the pigeon crop.

Methods and Results: The crops of 10 pigeons were sampled and inoculated on agar plates for isolation of streptococci, enterococci and lactobacilli. The isolates were identified using tDNA-PCR. Lactobacillus agilis, a species described in 1981 from municipal sewage, was the dominant component in eight of these pigeon crop sacs. A Lactobacillus species related to L. fermentum and L. mucosae but probably not belonging to one of these species was isolated from five birds. Three pigeons carried Enterococcus cecorum. Minor species found were E. columbae, E. faecalis, E. hirae, L. johnsonii, L. salivarius, and Streptococcus gallolyticus. A description is given of the phenotypic characteristics of the L. agilis pigeon strains.

Conclusions, Significance and Impact of the Study:L. agilis is found to be the main component of the LAB flora in the pigeon crop.