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J Clin Microbiol. 2004 Oct;42(10):4702-8.

Application of molecular fingerprinting for qualitative assessment of small-intestinal bacterial diversity in dogs.

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  • 1Gastrointestinal Laboratory, Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843-4474, USA.


The aims of this study were to evaluate the use of molecular fingerprinting for assessment of bacterial diversity in canine duodenal juice and to evaluate the variation in the small intestinal microflora at repeated sampling. Two groups of dogs were used. Duodenal juice was collected from eight dogs euthanized for an unrelated project (group 1). Duodenal juice was also collected endoscopically from six dogs at weekly intervals for a total of 3 weeks (group 2). The variable V6-V8 region of bacterial 16S ribosomal DNA was amplified, and PCR amplicons separated by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). The reproducibility of DGGE profiles and variations in bacterial diversity between dogs were evaluated by comparing similarity indices (Dice's coefficient; 100% represents complete identity) of DGGE profiles from group 1 dogs. Weekly variations in the flora of the small intestine were evaluated by comparison of DGGE profiles from different time points within the same individuals in group 2. The mean (+/- standard deviation) similarity of DGGE profiles of duodenal juice between the dogs in group 1 was 38.3 +/- 15.7% (range, 12.5 to 76.65%). There was a significantly higher variation in DGGE profiles between different dogs than between duplicates obtained from the same dog (P < 0.0001). DGGE profiles from samples collected at different time points varied within individuals, possibly due to variation over time or slight variation in sampling location. DGGE profiles indicate that dogs have a highly diverse microflora of the small intestine, with marked differences between individual dogs.

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