A Molecular Enrichment Strategy Based on cpn60 for Detection of Epsilon-Proteobacteria in the Dog Fecal Microbiome
Members of the rare microbiome can be important components of complex microbial communities. For example, pet dog ownership is a known risk factor for human campylobacteriosis, and Campylobacter is commonly detected in dog feces by targeted assays. However, these organisms have not been detected by metagenomic methods. The goal of this study was to characterize fecal microbiota from healthy and diarrheic pet dogs using two different levels of molecular detection. PCR amplification and pyrosequencing of the universal cpn60 gene target was used to obtain microbial profiles from each dog. To investigate the relatively rare epsilon-proteobacteria component of the microbiome, a molecular enrichment was carried out using a PCR that first amplified the cpn10–cpn60 region from epsilon-proteobacteria, followed by universal cpn60 target amplification and pyrosequencing. From the non-enriched survey, the major finding was a significantly higher proportion of Bacteroidetes, notably Bacteroides vulgatus, in healthy dogs compared to diarrheic dogs. Epsilon-proteobacteria from the genera Helicobacter and Campylobacter were also detected at a low level in the non-enriched profiles of some dogs. Molecular enrichment increased the proportion of epsilon-proteobacteria sequences detected from each dog, as well as identified novel, presumably rare sequences not seen in the non-enriched profiles. Enriched profiles contained known species of Arcobacter, Campylobacter, Flexispira, and Helicobacter and identified two possibly novel species. These findings add to our understanding of the canine fecal microbiome in general, the epsilon-proteobacteria component specifically, and present a novel modification to traditional metagenomic approaches for study of the rare microbiome.
This study was funded by the WCVM Companion Animal Health Fund and the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation. BC was supported by a postdoctoral fellowship from the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation. The authors are grateful to Manuel Chirino for donating the genomic DNA used in epsilon-enrichment primer development.
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