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Exploration of the Fecal Microbiota and Biomarker Discovery in Equine Grass Sickness

Leng, Joy, Proudman, Christopher, Darby, Alistair, Blow, Frances, Townsend, Neil, Miller, Andrew and Swann, Jonathan (2018) Exploration of the Fecal Microbiota and Biomarker Discovery in Equine Grass Sickness Journal of Proteome Research, 17 (3). pp. 1120-1128.

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Equine grass sickness (EGS) is a frequently fatal disease of horses, responsible for the death of 1 to 2% of the U.K. horse population annually. The etiology of this disease is currently uncharacterized, although there is evidence it is associated with Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin in the gut. Prevention is currently not possible, and ileal biopsy diagnosis is invasive. The aim of this study was to characterize the fecal microbiota and biofluid metabolic profiles of EGS horses, to further understand the mechanisms underlying this disease, and to identify metabolic biomarkers to aid in diagnosis. Urine, plasma, and feces were collected from horses with EGS, matched controls, and hospital controls. Sequencing the16S rRNA gene of the fecal bacterial population of the study horses found a severe dysbiosis in EGS horses, with an increase in Bacteroidetes and a decrease in Firmicutes bacteria. Metabolic profiling by 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy found EGS to be associated with the lower urinary excretion of hippurate and 4-cresyl sulfate and higher excretion of O-acetyl carnitine and trimethylamine-N-oxide. The predictive ability of the complete urinary metabolic signature and using the four discriminatory urinary metabolites to classify horses by disease status was assessed using a second (test) set of horses. The urinary metabolome and a combination of the four candidate biomarkers showed promise in aiding the identification of horses with EGS. Characterization of the metabolic shifts associated with EGS offers the potential of a noninvasive test to aid premortem diagnosis.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine
Authors :
Darby, Alistair
Blow, Frances
Townsend, Neil
Miller, Andrew
Swann, Jonathan
Date : 24 January 2018
DOI : 10.1021/acs.jproteome.7b00784
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright © 2018 American Chemical Society
Uncontrolled Keywords : DNA sequencing; equine dysautonomia; horse; metabolites; metabonomics; nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
Depositing User : Melanie Hughes
Date Deposited : 24 Aug 2018 11:07
Last Modified : 25 Jan 2019 02:08

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