The effects of feeding and withholding food on the canine small intestinal microbiota. Academic Article uri icon


  • Prolonged lack of enteral feeding has a negative impact on gut physiology, potentially via microbiota modulation. The aims were to investigate the impact of fasting and post-prandial changes in canine jejunal microbiota. To study post-prandial effects, jejunal brushings were analyzed in 8 healthy fistulated dogs 15 min before feeding (baseline) and hourly for 8 h after feeding. To study effects of withholding food (WF), daily samples were collected for 15 days from 5 dogs. The first 5 days (PRE) dogs were fed regular diet. Food was withheld the next 5 days (days 6-10). For days 11-15 (POST), the original diet was reintroduced. Microbiota was characterized via denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and 454-pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes. In the post-prandial study, no changes in microbiome structure were seen after feeding (ANOSIM, P = 0.28), but Betaproteobacteria (P = 0.04) and Bacteroidales decreased compared to baseline. Species richness decreased by 300 min (P = 0.04). During WF, microbiota structure differed from PRE and POST period (P = 0.001). During WF, species richness did not vary over time (P = 0.69). In conclusion, a prolonged period of food withholding results in altered jejunal microbiota. How these changes affect the microbiota metabolism warrants further studies.

published proceedings

  • FEMS Microbiol Ecol

altmetric score

  • 4

author list (cited authors)

  • Kasiraj, A. C., Harmoinen, J., Isaiah, A., Westermarck, E., Steiner, J. M., Spillmann, T., & Suchodolski, J. S.

citation count

  • 23

complete list of authors

  • Kasiraj, Alyssa C||Harmoinen, Jaana||Isaiah, Anitah||Westermarck, Elias||Steiner, Jörg M||Spillmann, Thomas||Suchodolski, Jan S

editor list (cited editors)

  • Marchesi, J.

publication date

  • June 2016