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MT14-018: Changes In Bacterial And Fungal Flora On The Skin Of Cats With Skin Allergies From Normal Cats

Bacterial and fungal gene sequencing has recently revealed that the human skin is inhabited by a large number of different microbes, not previously demonstrated by bacterial and fungal culture (diversity). In order to fully understand the role of bacteria and fungi in feline skin diseases, we must first have a comprehensive picture of the commensal bacteria and fungi living on the skin of cats and then begin to understand how these communities change when disease is present. DNA sequencing technologies can provide a much more accurate status of commensal fungi residing on feline skin than what has been previously shown with traditional culture based methods. In a previous study, we evaluated the canine skin microbiome in healthy and allergic dogs, and found that, similar to humans, the canine skin is inhabited by different microbes, with the skin of allergic dogs having fewer numbers of different bacteria. This study proposes the first next-generation DNA sequencing study to investigate the bacterial microbiome and fungal mycobiome of healthy feline skin. We will also compare the microbiome and mycobiome of healthy feline skin to that of cats with allergic skin disease. This will provide insight into the involvement of bacteria and fungi in allergic dermatitis, as well as reveal bacterial and fungal genera that may serve as opportunistic pathogens and potential targets for therapeutics in skin diseases that affect cats who suffer from severe pruritus and their owners who must provide long-term and costly care.

Grant ID: MT14-018

Status: Active

Year Funded: 2014

Amount awarded: $24,788

Investigator: Aline Rodrigues-Hoffmann; Texas A&M University