CITATION: Li Q, Lauber CL, Czarnecki-Maulden G, Pan Y, Hannah SS. Nestlé Purina Research, St. Louis, Missouri, USA Qinghong.Li@rd.nestle.com. Nestlé Institute of Health Science, Lausanne, Switzerland. Nestlé Purina Research, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
Obesity has become a health epidemic in both humans and pets. A dysbiotic gut microbiota has been associated with obesity and other metabolic disorders. High-protein, low-carbohydrate (HPLC) diets have been recommended for body weight loss, but little is known about their effects on the canine gut microbiome. Sixty-three obese and lean Labrador retrievers and Beagles (mean age, 5.72 years) were fed a common baseline diet for 4 weeks in phase 1, followed by 4 weeks of a treatment diet, specifically, the HPLC diet (49.4% protein, 10.9% carbohydrate) or a low-protein, high-carbohydrate (LPHC) diet (25.5% protein, 38.8% carbohydrate) in phase 2. 16S rRNA gene profiling revealed that dietary protein and carbohydrate ratios have significant impacts on gut microbial compositions. This effect appeared to be more evident in obese dogs than in lean dogs but was independent of breed. Consumption of either diet increased the bacterial evenness, but not the richness, of the gut compared to that after consumption of the baseline diet. Macronutrient composition affected taxon abundances, mainly within the predominant phyla, Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes The LPHC diet appeared to favor the growth of Bacteroides uniformis and Clostridium butyricum, while the HPLC diet increased the abundances of Clostridium hiranonis, Clostridium perfringens, and Ruminococcus gnavus and enriched microbial gene networks associated with weight maintenance. In addition, we observed a decrease in the Bacteroidetes to Firmicutes ratio and an increase in the Bacteroides to Prevotella ratio in the HPLC diet-fed dogs compared to these ratios in dogs fed other diets. Finally, analysis of the effect of diet on the predicted microbial gene network was performed using phylogenetic investigation of communities by reconstruction of unobserved states (PICRUSt).