Characterization of the fungal microbiome (mycobiome) in fecal samples from dogs.
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The prevalence and phylogenetic description of fungal organisms and their role as part of the intestinal ecosystem have not yet been studied extensively in dogs. This study evaluated the fungal microbiome of 19 dogs (12 healthy dogs and 7 dogs with acute diarrhea) using fungal tag-encoded FLX-Titanium amplicon pyrosequencing. Five distinct fungal phyla were identified, with Ascomycota (medians: 97.9% of obtained sequences in healthy dogs and 98.2% in diseased dogs) and Basidiomycota (median 1.0% in healthy dogs and median 0.5% in diseased dogs) being the most abundant fungal phyla. A total of 219 fungal genera were identified across all 19 dogs with a median (range) of 28 (4-69) genera per sample. Candida was the most abundant genus found in both the diseased dogs (median: 1.9%, range: 0.2%-38.5% of sequences) and healthy dogs (median: 5.2%, range: 0.0%-63.1% of sequences). Candida natalensis was the most frequently identified species. No significant differences were observed in the relative proportions of fungal communities between healthy and diseased dogs. In conclusion, fecal samples of healthy dogs and dogs with acute diarrhea harbor various fungal genera, and their role in gastrointestinal health and disease warrants further studies.