Determining the bacterial composition of the canine oral microbiome is of interest for two primary reasons. First, while the human oral microbiome has been well studied using molecular techniques, the oral microbiomes of other mammals have not been studied in equal depth using culture independent methods. This study allows a comparison of the number of bacterial taxa, based on 16S rRNA-gene sequence comparison, shared between humans and dogs, two divergent mammalian species. Second, canine oral bacteria are of interest to veterinary and human medical communities for understanding their roles in health and infectious diseases. The bacteria involved are mostly unnamed and not linked by 16S rRNA-gene sequence identity to a taxonomic scheme. This manuscript describes the analysis of 5,958 16S rRNA-gene sequences from 65 clone libraries. Full length 16S rRNA reference sequences have been obtained for 353 canine bacterial taxa, which were placed in 14 bacterial phyla, 23 classes, 37 orders, 66 families, and 148 genera. Eighty percent of the taxa are currently unnamed. The bacterial taxa identified in dogs are markedly different from those of humans with only 16.4% of oral taxa are shared between dogs and humans based on a 98.5% 16S rRNA sequence similarity cutoff. This indicates that there is a large divergence in the bacteria comprising the oral microbiomes of divergent mammalian species. The historic practice of identifying animal associated bacteria based on phenotypic similarities to human bacteria is generally invalid. This report describes the diversity of the canine oral microbiome and provides a provisional 16S rRNA based taxonomic scheme for naming and identifying unnamed canine bacterial taxa. © 2012 Dewhirst et al.
Dewhirst, F. E., Klein, E. A., Thompson, E. C., Blanton, J. M., Chen, T., Milella, L., … Marshall-Jones, Z. V. (2012). The canine oral microbiome. PLoS ONE, 7(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0036067