Canine And Feline Gastrointestinal Microbiota Gram Positive Intestinal Bacteria

Amongst Gram-positive bacteria residing in the gut, lactic acid bacteria (LAB) make up the largest and most important part of the intestinal microbiota. Although they have a significant protective function in the gut, the present knowledge of canine and feline Gram-positive intestinal microbiota is scant.

Most of the canine LAB belong to the genera Streptococcus and Lactobacillus. In a recent study, Streptococcus alactolyticus was found to be a predominant culturable LAB in jejunal and fecal samples of four beagle dogs. In addition, Lactobacillus animalis, L. reuteri, L. murinus, L. ruminus and S. bovis are reported to harbor in the gut (11,12).

The presence of bifidobacteria in canine GI tract is controversial. Many papers report absence of bifidobacteria in the canine fecal samples (11,13), whereas others described bifidobacteria as a substantial part of canine fecal microbiota (14-17). Willard and co-workers isolated fecal bifidobacteria from dogs inconstantly and independent on the diet. It was concluded that bifidobacteria may be only sporadically present in the feces of healthy dogs (18).

In healthy cats, the total number of duodenal microbiota is reported to range from 105 to 109 cfu/ml, most of the bacteria being anaerobic (10,19). The most common anaerobic isolates belonged to groups Bacteroides, Clostridium, Eubacteria and Fusobacteria, whereas Pasteurella spp were the most prevailing aerobic bacteria in feline proximal small intestine. In addition, Acinetobacter spp, Pseudomonas spp and Lactobacillus spp were detected in the duodenal samples of healthy cats (10,19). Lactobacilli were also isolated from feline fecal samples (20).

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