According to these investigators, understanding the species of normal flora or microbiome in the oral cavity of the cat is important for at least two reasons. Firstly, it is likely that as in humans, the feline oral microbiome has a profound influence on the oral and systemic health of cats. Secondly, associating oral bacterial species with specific feline health or disease conditions requires knowledge of the bacterial species present and having the means to precisely and rapidly identify them.
The objective of their research was to identify and characterize the bacteria normally inhabiting the oral cavity of cats. Through their work, they identified 171 species or types of bacteria. This database will pave the way for future characterization of bacteria that may be linked to dental disease in cats. Once bacteria are identified and classified, they can be associated with specific feline health and disease conditions. (MK)