HORSE SPECIES SYMPOSIUM: Canine intestinal microbiology and metagenomics: From phylogeny to function. Academic Article uri icon


  • Recent molecular studies have revealed a complex microbiota in the dog intestine. Convincing evidence has been reported linking changes in microbial communities to acute and chronic gastrointestinal inflammation, especially in canine inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The most common microbial changes observed in intestinal inflammation are decreases in the bacterial phyla Firmicutes (i.e., Lachnospiraceae, Ruminococcaceae, and ) and Bacteroidetes, with concurrent increases in Proteobacteria (i.e., ). Due to the important role of microbial-derived metabolites for host health, it is important to elucidate the metabolic consequences of gastrointestinal dysbiosis and physiological pathways implicated in specific disease phenotypes. Metagenomic studies have used shotgun sequencing of DNA as well as phylogenetic investigation of communities by reconstruction of unobserved states (PICRUSt) to characterize functional changes in the bacterial metagenome in gastrointestinal disease. Furthermore, wide-scale and untargeted measurements of metabolic products derived by the host and the microbiota in intestinal samples allow a better understanding of the functional alterations that occur in gastrointestinal disease. For example, changes in bile acid metabolism and tryptophan catabolism recently have been reported in humans and dogs. Also, metabolites associated with the pentose phosphate pathway were significantly altered in chronic gastrointestinal inflammation and indicate the presence of oxidative stress in dogs with IBD. This review focuses on the advancements made in canine metagenomics and metabolomics and their implications in understanding gastrointestinal disease as well as the development of better treatment approaches.

published proceedings

  • J Anim Sci

altmetric score

  • 9.83

author list (cited authors)

  • Guard, B. C., & Suchodolski, J. S.

citation count

  • 24

complete list of authors

  • Guard, BC||Suchodolski, JS

publication date

  • June 2016