Characterization of the fecal microbiome in cats with inflammatory bowel disease or alimentary small cell lymphoma.
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Feline chronic enteropathy (CE) is a common gastrointestinal disorder in cats and mainly comprises inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and small cell lymphoma (SCL). Both IBD and SCL in cats share features with chronic enteropathies such as IBD and monomorphic epitheliotropic intestinal T-cell lymphoma in humans. The aim of this study was to characterize the fecal microbiome of 38 healthy cats and 27 cats with CE (13 cats with IBD and 14 cats with SCL). Alpha diversity indices were significantly decreased in cats with CE (OTU p=0.003, Shannon Index p=0.008, Phylogenetic Diversity p=0.019). ANOSIM showed a significant difference in bacterial communities, albeit with a small effect size (P=0.023, R=0.073). Univariate analysis and LEfSE showed a lower abundance of facultative anaerobic taxa of the phyla Firmicutes (families Ruminococcaceae and Turicibacteraceae), Actinobacteria (genus Bifidobacterium) and Bacteroidetes (i.a. Bacteroides plebeius) in cats with CE. The facultative anaerobic taxa Enterobacteriaceae and Streptococcaceae were increased in cats with CE. No significant difference between the microbiome of cats with IBD and those with SCL was found. Cats with CE showed patterns of dysbiosis similar to those in found people with IBD.