Identifying breed, dietary, and reproductive factors affecting the gut microbiome of dogs with inflammatory bowel disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic autoimmune disease that is heavily linked with gut dysbiosis. Currently, there is a lack of consensus in microbiome treatment for IBD, partly due to the lack of translatable animal models. Dogs as companion animals are a promising disease model due to the similar microbial environment they share with their owners. However, potential confounding factors affecting the dog fecal microbial environment are ill-documented, thereby affecting the ability to categorize the species-specific dysbiosis network among humans and dogs with IBD. In this study, we addressed three candidate factors including breed, dietary protein, and neutering status potentially affecting the dog fecal microbiome in both healthy and IBD dogs. Here, we showed that dog fecal microbial samples did not differ by measures of alpha diversity as well as differential abundance in terms of all three selected factors. Nonetheless, our study provided proof of concept that IBD decreases microbial diversity and alters the microbial profile among the dog fecal samples analysed.