BACKGROUND: Gut microbes influence their hosts in many ways, in particular by modulating the impact of diet. These effects have been studied most extensively in humans and mice. In this work, we used whole genome metagenomics to investigate the relationship between the gut metagenomes of dogs, humans, mice, and pigs. RESULTS: We present a dog gut microbiome gene catalog containing 1,247,405 genes (based on 129 metagenomes and a total of 1.9 terabasepairs of sequencing data). Based on this catalog and taxonomic abundance profiling, we show that the dog microbiome is closer to the human microbiome than the microbiome of either pigs or mice. To investigate this similarity in terms of response to dietary changes, we report on a randomized intervention with two diets (high-protein/low-carbohydrate vs. lower protein/higher carbohydrate). We show that diet has a large and reproducible effect on the dog microbiome, independent of breed or sex. Moreover, the responses were in agreement with those observed in previous human studies. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that findings in dogs may be predictive of human microbiome results. In particular, a novel finding is that overweight or obese dogs experience larger compositional shifts than lean dogs in response to a high-protein diet.
Coelho, L. P., Kultima, J. R., Costea, P. I., Fournier, C., Pan, Y., Czarnecki-Maulden, G., … Bork, P. (2018). Similarity of the dog and human gut microbiomes in gene content and response to diet. Microbiome, 6(1), 72. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40168-018-0450-3