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Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.00300

Comparison between the Fecal Bacterial Microbiota of Healthy and Diarrheic Captive Musk Deer

Yimeng Li1, Xiaolong Hu2, Shuang Yang1, Juntong Zhou1, Lei Qi1, Xiaoning Sun1, Mengyuan Fan1, Shanghua Xu1, Muha Cha1, Meishan Zhang1, Shaobi Lin3,  Shuqiang Liu1* and Defu Hu1*
  • 1College of Nature Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, China
  • 2College of Animal Science and Technology, Jiangxi Agricultural University, China
  • 3Research Department, Zhangzhou Pien Tze Huang Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd, China

Diarrhea constitutes one of the most common diseases affecting the survival of captive musk deer and is usually caused by an imbalance in intestinal microbiota. Currently, research regarding the structure and function of intestinal microbiota in diarrheic musk deer is lacking. Therefore, in the present study, high-throughput 16S-rRNA gene sequencing was used to analyze the intestinal microbiota in feces of healthy captive musk deer (HMD) (n = 8) and musk deer with mild (MMD) (n = 8) and severe (n = 5) (SMD) diarrhea to compare the difference in intestinal microbiota of musk deer under various physiological conditions. The results showed that the diversity of HMD fecal microbiota was significantly higher than that of the two diarrhea samples. β diversity results indicated that there were extremely significant differences in bacterial communities between the HMD sample and the MMD and SMD samples. However, no significant difference was found between the two diarrhea samples. LefSe analysis showed that the degree of intestinal physiological dysfunction in musk deer was correlated with the types of major pathogens. The main pathogen in the MMD group is Escherichia-Shigella, whereas Fusobacterium is the main pathogen in the SMD group. PICRUSt functional profile prediction indicated that the intestinal microbiota disorder could also lead to changes in the abundance of genes in metabolic pathways of the immune system. Altogether, this study provides a theoretical basis for the exploration of treatments for diarrhea in captive musk deer, which is of considerable significance to the implementation of the musk deer release into the wild program.

Keywords: Bacterial microbiota, Diarrheic, Musk deer, 16S-rRNA gene sequencing, functional prediction

Received: 30 Oct 2017; Accepted: 08 Feb 2018.

Edited by:

David Berry, University of Vienna, Austria

Reviewed by:

Elisabeth M. Bik, uBiome (United States), United States
Tânia A. Gomes, Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil  

Copyright: © 2018 Li, Hu, Yang, Zhou, Qi, Sun, Fan, Xu, Cha, Zhang, Lin, Liu and Hu. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Dr. Shuqiang Liu, Beijing Forestry University, College of Nature Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing, China, liushuqiang@bjfu.edu.cn
Prof. Defu Hu, Beijing Forestry University, College of Nature Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing, China, hudf@bjfu.edu.cn