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PLoS One. 2017 May 1;12(5):e0176736. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0176736. eCollection 2017.

Bacterial microbiome of the nose of healthy dogs and dogs with nasal disease.

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Clinic of Small Animal Medicine, LMU Munich, Munich, Germany.
Gastrointestinal Laboratory, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, United States of America.


The role of bacterial communities in canine nasal disease has not been studied so far using next generation sequencing methods. Sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes has revealed that the canine upper respiratory tract harbors a diverse microbial community; however, changes in the composition of nasal bacterial communities in dogs with nasal disease have not been described so far. Aim of the study was to characterize the nasal microbiome of healthy dogs and compare it to that of dogs with histologically confirmed nasal neoplasia and chronic rhinitis. Nasal swabs were collected from healthy dogs (n = 23), dogs with malignant nasal neoplasia (n = 16), and dogs with chronic rhinitis (n = 8). Bacterial DNA was extracted and sequencing of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene was performed. Data were analyzed using Quantitative Insights Into Microbial Ecology (QIIME). A total of 376 Operational Taxonomic Units out of 26 bacterial phyla were detected. In healthy dogs, Moraxella spp. was the most common species, followed by Phyllobacterium spp., Cardiobacteriaceae, and Staphylococcus spp. While Moraxella spp. were significantly decreased in diseased compared to healthy dogs (p = 0.005), Pasteurellaceae were significantly increased (p = 0.001). Analysis of similarities used on the unweighted UniFrac distance metric (p = 0.027) was significantly different when nasal microbial communities of healthy dogs were compared to those of dogs with nasal disease. The study showed that the canine nasal cavity is inhabited by a highly species-rich bacterial community, and suggests significant differences between the nasal microbiome of healthy dogs and dogs with nasal disease.

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