Characterization of staphylococcal communities on healthy and allergic feline skin Academic Article uri icon


  • 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.

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Older, C. E., Diesel, A. B., Starks, J. M., Lawhon, S. D., & Hoffmann, A. R.

citation count

  • 0

publication date

  • September 2020