Characterization of microbial dysbiosis and metabolomic changes in dogs with acute diarrhea

Blake C. Guard, James W. Barr, Lavanya Reddivari, Cory Klemashevich, Arul Jayaraman, Jörg M. Steiner, Jairam Vanamala, Jan S. Suchodolski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


Limited information is available regarding the metabolic consequences of intestinal dysbiosis in dogs with acute onset of diarrhea. The aim of this study was to evaluate the fecal microbiome, fecal concentrations of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), as well as serum and urine metabolites in healthy dogs (n=13) and dogs with acute diarrhea (n=13). The fecal microbiome, SCFAs, and serum/urine metabolite profiles were characterized by 454-pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA genes, GC/MS, and untargeted and targeted metabolomics approach using UPLC/MS and HPLC/MS, respectively. Significantly lower bacterial diversity was observed in dogs with acute diarrhea in regards to species richness, chao1, and Shannon index (p=0.0218, 0.0176, and 0.0033; respectively). Dogs with acute diarrhea had significantly different microbial communities compared to healthy dogs (unweighted Unifrac distances, ANOSIM p=0.0040). While Bacteroidetes, Faecalibacterium, and an unclassified genus within Ruminococcaceae were underrepresented, the genus Clostridium was overrepresented in dogs with acute diarrhea. Concentrations of fecal propionic acid were significantly decreased in acute diarrhea (p=0.0033), and were correlated to a decrease in Faecalibacterium (ρ=0.6725, p=0.0332). The predicted functional gene content of the microbiome (PICRUSt) revealed overrepresentations of genes for transposase enzymes as well as methyl accepting chemotaxis proteins in acute diarrhea. Serum concentrations of kynurenic acid and urine concentrations of 2-methyl-1H-indole and 5-Methoxy-1H-indole-3-carbaldehyde were significantly decreased in acute diarrhea (p=0.0048, 0.0185, and 0.0330, respectively). These results demonstrate that the fecal dysbiosis present in acute diarrhea is associated with altered systemic metabolic states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0127259
JournalPloS one
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 22 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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