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Home » Archive » 2018

TDK conference 2018

Metagenomic analysis of large intestinal content from horses with equine grass sickness
Kovács Szilvia - year 6
University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest, Department and Clinic of Equine Medicine
Supervisor: Dr. Zoltán Bakos

Abstract:

Equine grass sickness (EGS) was first described in the United Kingdom (Scotland) in 1909, since then it appeared in many countries around the world. EGS or equine dysautonomia is a frequently fatal polyneuropathy, which affects both the peripheral and central nervous systems. All clinical signs caused by the degeneration of the autonomic and enteric nervous system. The disease occurs almost only in grazing horses. Accurate, non-invasive, ante mortem diagnosis is not available. From 2001 the disease occurs yearly in a North-Hungarian stud with severe outbreaks in certain years, causing high mortality among the 2 and 3 years old foals. The aim of our study was to determine the composition and metabolic features of the large intestinal microbiome in horses affected by grass sickness. Caecal and large colon samples were taken from five horses suffering from grass sickness. Shotgun sequencing of the samples was performed after DNA extraction. Descriptive statistics was done on the acquired data, then for each sample Shannon-Wiener diversity index was calculated. Relative abundancies of the different taxa were compared with Friedman test. The distribution of different organisms was compared to previous studies describing the metagenome of healthy, ill or pregnant horses. Relative abundancies were significantly different between the samples. Relevant differences were not found between the microbiomes. Similar to previous studies, there was dysbiosis in all samples. High percentages of Bacteroides, Treponema, Fibrobacter, Prevotella, Streptococcus, Escherichia and Clostridium genera were found. Lower, but still high relative abundancies of Campylobacter, Listeria, Bilophila, Phascolarctobacterium, Akkermansia, Alistipes, Mycobacteroides genera were detected. Further studies are required to compare samples from horses with equine dysautonomia to control samples collected from healthy co-grazers in order to get closer to the identification of the causative agent of this devastating disease.



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