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Kim dog microbiota study.png

Reference:  Kim, J, An, J, Kim, W, Lee, S & Cho, S 2017, “Differences in the gut microbiota of dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) fed a natural diet or a commercial feed revealed by the Illumina MiSeq platform”, Gut Pathogens, vol 9: pp 68.

Population: dogs in South Korea


Study: 2 diet groups: 6 dogs fed a natural diet and 5 dogs fed a commercial kibble at home.  Faecal samples were collected.  Study inclusion criteria (similar diet, medical history, living area (indoor), breed, gender, age, and weight)


Aim: to identify the core microbiota and comparing the differences in the gut microbiota between the two diet groups using NGS technology.


Key findings:

  • Diets were found to have a greater extent on the gut microbiota than other factors.  There were pronounced differences in alpha and beta diversities, and taxonomic composition of the core gut microbiota between the two diet groups.

  • Natural diet group: alpha diversity (i.e. species diversity), the richness estimates, and diversity indices of microbiota were significantly higher (p < 0.05)

  • Core microbiota between the two groups was different at the phylum, family, and species levels.

  • Natural diet group: Clostridium perfringens & Fusobacterium varium were more abundant.  These are normal flora for dogs, but carry the risk of opportunistic infection. 


Limitations: small sample size, not controlled feeding trial (diet variations), not randomly allocated to treatment.


No funding conflicts disclosed.


Peer reviewed

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