Characterization of staphylococcal communities on healthy and allergic feline skin
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BACKGROUND: Various Staphylococcus species have been demonstrated to play important roles on the skin, including causing disease and protecting the host from pathogens. Although culture-based studies have isolated various Staphylococcus spp. from feline skin, very little is known regarding the species-level communities on the host. HYPOTHESIS/OBJECTIVES: To describe the species-level staphylococcal communities inhabiting the skin of healthy cats and cats with allergic dermatitis. ANIMALS: Skin swabs from the ear canal and groin of 11 healthy and 10 allergic (nonlesional) cats were obtained. METHODS AND MATERIALS: DNA was extracted from the skin swabs and used for next-generation sequencing targeting the V1-3 region of the 16S rRNA gene. Following a standard microbiota analysis of the sequencing data, species-level assignment for the staphylococcal sequences were obtained using a staphylococci-specific database. RESULTS: Staphylococcus spp. had similar relative abundance in healthy and allergic samples. The most abundant staphylococcal species were S. epidermidis in healthy samples, and S. felis and S. capitis in allergic samples. The composition of staphylococcal communities, as well as relative abundance of Staphylococcus spp., was variable between body sites and individual cats sampled. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: These results demonstrate that diverse staphylococcal communities inhabit the skin of healthy and allergic cats, and provide a starting point for further research into the importance of Staphylococcus spp. in feline allergic skin disease.
author list (cited authors)
Older, C. E., Diesel, A. B., Starks, J. M., Lawhon, S. D., & Hoffmann, A. R.