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Suchodolski, Jan S.; Markel, Melissa E.; Garcia-Mazcorro, Jose F.; Unterer, Stefan; Heilmann, Romy M.; Dowd, Scot E.; Kachroo, Priyanka; Ivanov, Ivan; Minamoto, Yasushi; Dillman, Enricka M.; Steiner, Jörg M.; Cook, Audrey K. and Toresson, Linda (2012): The fecal microbiome in dogs with acute diarrhea and idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease.
In: PLOS ONE 7(12), e51907 [PDF, 802kB]


Recent molecular studies have revealed a highly complex bacterial assembly in the canine intestinal tract. There is mounting evidence that microbes play an important role in the pathogenesis of acute and chronic enteropathies of dogs, including idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The aim of this study was to characterize the bacterial microbiota in dogs with various gastrointestinal disorders. Fecal samples from healthy dogs (n = 32), dogs with acute non-hemorrhagic diarrhea (NHD; n = 12), dogs with acute hemorrhagic diarrhea (AHD; n = 13), and dogs with active (n = 9) and therapeutically controlled idiopathic IBD (n = 10) were analyzed by 454-pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene and qPCR assays. Dogs with acute diarrhea, especially those with AHD, had the most profound alterations in their microbiome, as significant separations were observed on PCoA plots of unweighted Unifrac distances. Dogs with AHD had significant decreases in Blautia, Ruminococcaceae including Faecalibacterium, and Turicibacter spp., and significant increases in genus Sutterella and Clostridium perfringens when compared to healthy dogs. No significant separation on PCoA plots was observed for the dogs with IBD. Faecalibacterium spp. and Fusobacteria were, however, decreased in the dogs with clinically active IBD, but increased during time periods of clinically insignificant IBD, as defined by a clinical IBD activity index (CIBDAI). Results of this study revealed a bacterial dysbiosis in fecal samples of dogs with various GI disorders. The observed changes in the microbiome differed between acute and chronic disease states. The bacterial groups that were commonly decreased during diarrhea are considered to be important short-chain fatty acid producers and may be important for canine intestinal health. Future studies should correlate these observed phylogenetic differences with functional changes in the intestinal microbiome of dogs with defined disease phenotypes.

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