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A longitudinal assessment of changes in bacterial community composition associated with the development of periodontal disease in dogs

Wallis, Corrin, Marshall, Mark, Colyer, Alison, O’Flynn, Ciaran, Deusch, Oliver, Harris, Stephen
Veterinary microbiology 2015 v.181 no.3-4 pp. 271-282
Bergeyella zoohelcum, Firmicutes, Moraxella, Neisseria, Pasteurellaceae, bacteria, bacterial communities, community structure, dogs, etiology, gingivitis, longitudinal studies, periodontitis, ribosomal DNA, teeth, temporal variation
Periodontal disease is the most widespread oral disease in dogs. Whilst the involvement of bacteria in the aetiology of periodontitis is well established the role of individual species and their complex interactions with the host is not well understood. The objective of this research was therefore to perform a longitudinal study in dogs to identify the changes that occur in subgingival bacterial communities during the transition from mild gingivitis to the early stages of periodontitis (<25% attachment loss). Subgingival plaque samples were collected from individual teeth of 52 miniature schnauzer dogs every six weeks for up to 60 weeks. The microbial composition of plaque samples was determined using 454-pyrosequencing of the 16S rDNA. A group of aerobic Gram negative species, including Bergeyella zoohelcum COT-186, Moraxella sp. COT-017, Pasteurellaceae sp. COT-080, and Neisseria shayeganii COT-090 decreased in proportion as teeth progressed to mild periodontitis. In contrast, there was less evidence that increases in the proportion of individual species were associated with the onset of periodontitis, although a number of species (particularly members of the Firmicutes) became more abundant as gingivitis severity increased. There were small increases in Shannon diversity, suggesting that plaque community membership remains relatively stable but that bacterial proportions change during progression into periodontitis. This is the first study to demonstrate the temporal dynamics of the canine oral microbiota; it showed that periodontitis results from a microbial succession predominantly characterised by a reduction of previously abundant, health associated taxa.