Massive parallel 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing reveals highly diverse fecal bacterial and fungal communities in healthy dogs and cats

Authors

  • Stefanie Handl,

    1. Department for Farm Animals and Veterinary Public Health, Institute of Animal Nutrition, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Vienna, Austria
    2. Gastrointestinal Laboratory, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA
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  • Scot E. Dowd,

    1. Research and Testing Laboratory, Lubbock, TX, USA
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  • Jose F. Garcia-Mazcorro,

    1. Gastrointestinal Laboratory, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA
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  • Jörg M. Steiner,

    1. Gastrointestinal Laboratory, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA
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  • Jan S. Suchodolski

    1. Gastrointestinal Laboratory, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA
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  • Editor: Julian Marchesi

Correspondence: Jan S. Suchodolski, Gastrointestinal Laboratory, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4474, USA. Tel.: +1 979 458 0933; fax: +1 979 458 4015; e-mail: jsuchodolski@cvm.tamu.edu

Abstract

This study evaluated the fecal microbiota of 12 healthy pet dogs and 12 pet cats using bacterial and fungal tag-encoded FLX-Titanium amplicon pyrosequencing. A total of 120 406 pyrosequencing reads for bacteria (mean 5017) and 5359 sequences (one pool each for dogs and cats) for fungi were analyzed. Additionally, group-specific 16S rRNA gene clone libraries for Bifidobacterium spp. and lactic acid-producing bacteria (LAB) were constructed. The most abundant bacterial phylum was Firmicutes, followed by Bacteroidetes in dogs and Actinobacteria in cats. The most prevalent bacterial class in dogs and cats was Clostridia, dominated by the genera Clostridium (clusters XIVa and XI) and Ruminococcus. At the genus level, 85 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were identified in dogs and 113 OTUs in cats. Seventeen LAB and eight Bifidobacterium spp. were detected in canine feces. Ascomycota was the only fungal phylum detected in cats, while Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, Glomeromycota, and Zygomycota were identified in dogs. Nacaseomyces was the most abundant fungal genus in dogs; Saccharomyces and Aspergillus were predominant in cats. At the genus level, 33 different fungal OTUs were observed in dogs and 17 OTUs in cats. In conclusion, this study revealed a highly diverse bacterial and fungal microbiota in canine and feline feces.

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