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Analyzing Gut Microbiome Composition in Canines Afflicted with Acute Moist Dermatitis

Microbiomes are the genetic material of all microbes that live in and around an environment. The canine gut is a highly diverse environment that is host to many species of bacteria. To gain an understanding of the canine gut microbiome and its relation to the acute moist dermatitis skin condition, we used nanopore sequencing technology to sequence 8 different Golden Retrievers gut microbiome DNA. We used fecal samples from the different dogs to study the gut microbiome composition in each. What we discovered was no significant correlation between the Shannon Diversity Index of the dogs with and without hot spots (p-value = 0.7857) and no correlation under the Simpson's Diversity Index (p-value = 0.3929). No correlation was found between the gut microbiota diversity and age (p-value = 0.3377) or weight (p-value = 0.07055) as well. While we did not find any correlation between age and weight, we did notice an increase in the abundance of Fusobacteria in our hot spot dog samples (20%) compared to that of our healthy dog samples (2%). Overall, many different factors could be associated with the host being afflicted by the hot spot skin condition. This preliminary study into hot spots and their association with Golden Retrievers, was revealing in how much more work could be done to try and understand these microbe interactions on the host. In the future, we would like to expand our study to incorporate many more individuals to gain a better overall understanding of the gut microbiome diversity in dogs.

Matthew Wandishion '22
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