Comparative faecal microbiota of dogs with and without calcium oxalate stones.
The absence of enteric oxalate-metabolizing bacterial species (OMBS) increases the likelihood of calcium oxalate (CaOx) urolithiasis in humans and dogs. The goal of this study was to compare the gut microbiota of healthy dogs and CaOx stone formed dogs (CaOx-dogs), especially with respect to OMBS. Faecal samples from healthy and CaOx-dogs were obtained to analyse the hindgut microbiota by sequencing the V3 region of bacterial 16S rDNA. In total, 1223 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were identified at 97% identity. Only 38% of these OTUs were shared by both groups. Significant differences in the relative abundance of 152 OTUs and 36 genera were observed between the two groups of dogs. The faecal microbiota of healthy dogs is distinct from that of CaOx-dogs, indicating that the microbiota is altered in CaOx-dogs. This is the first study that has compared the gut microbial diversity in healthy and CaOx-dogs. Results of this study indicate the future need for functional and comparative analyses of the total array of oxalate-metabolizing genes between healthy and CaOx stone formers, rather than focusing on specific bacterial species, to understand the critical role of OMBS in CaOx urolithiasis. © 2012 The Authors Journal of Applied Microbiology © 2012 The Society for Applied Microbiology.