Isolation and Characterization of Lactobacillus Species Having Potential for Use as Probiotic Cultures for Dogs



ABSTRACT:  The need to control pathogenic microorganisms in the intestinal tract of dogs is a growing concern. There is interest in using probiotics such as species of Lactobacillus to help control canine intestinal infections. For successful use as a probiotic, the bacterial species should be of canine intestinal origin since these species exhibit host specificity. Serial dilutions of freshly voided dog feces were plated on Lactobacillus selection (LBS) agar to isolate the cultures. Isolates were identified based on Gram stain, catalase test, and fermentation patterns using API 50 CH kits. All potential isolates were compared for bile resistance based on relative ability to grow in broth containing 0.3% Oxgall, the ability to inhibit Salmonella Typhimurium in associative broth cultures, and the production of reuterin. Of the lactobacilli isolated, Lactobacillus reuteri was the dominant species. However, some cultures of L. acidophilus also were isolated. We found variations among the isolates of L. reuteri and L. acidophilus with respect to bile tolerance. In general, isolates of L. reuteri appeared to be more bile resistant than were isolates of L. acidophilus. There were also variations in the ability to inhibit growth of S. Typhimurium. Some isolates of L. reuteri produced reuterin while others did not.