|10:25 - 10:35|
- Еarly Life Development of the Canine Gut Microbiota
As reported in human studies, the initial establishment of the canine gut microbiota is an essential step in neonatal development; influencing immunological development in infancy, and health throughout life. Understanding changes in the neonatal microbiota may provide insights into the microbial species able to colonise the canine gut, providing the opportunity to facilitate the early colonisation of the gut in a manner that promotes the long-term health of the host. We describe the developing puppy microbiota prior to weaning, and the changes observed following weaning from 24 days of age. Data are presented from two cohorts, differing in both maternal and puppy weaning diets, consisting of six and nine litters respectively. In both cases, the puppy faecal microbiota experienced rapid transformations following weaning onto dry kibble commercial puppy food. Further, similarities in relative abundance of taxa between the cohorts were also observed at the taxonomic level of genus and species. The commonality seen between the two cohorts suggests that patterns of bacterial colonisation of the canine gut in early life may be conserved and points to a period of rapid maturation or development in the gut microbiome, associated with weaning and placement in new environments at homing. These data describe an early characterisation of the microbiota during the period associated with immune priming and gastrointestinal maturation in new-born puppies. Similar to the human infant, the process of weaning and environment appear to represent major influences on the microbiota in early life. However, the insights gained suggest differences in the microbiota of puppies compared to human infants that may provide opportunities for specific nutritional interventions for the microbiome in puppies and dogs as they develop.