Equine fecal microbiota response to short term antibiotic administration

J. L. Parker, A. Page, O. Jacob, V. Stanton, B. Davis, M. Flythe, E. N. Adam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Though generally safe, research continues to demonstrate negative side effects of antibiotic administration on the gastrointestinal (GIT) microbiota across species. In horses, antibiotic associated diarrhea (AAD) is a life-threatening condition linked to the GIT microbiota. This study tested the hypothesis that short term antibiotic administration to healthy horses would negatively impact the fecal microbiota as measured by their ability to digest nutrients and through fecal shedding of disease-associated-bacteria. Twenty-four horses were assigned to one of four treatment groups: control (CO); potassium penicillin/gentamicin sulfate (KPG); ceftiofur crystalline free acid (EX); trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (SMZ); and treated for 4 days. Fecal samples were collected before treatment began (S0), the day after treatment conclusion (S5), and at 10, 14, 21, and 28 days after initiating treatment. Horses had highly individualized responses to antibiotic administration. All horses receiving antibiotics experienced significantly softer stool compared to controls. Lactobacillus spp. were dramatically reduced in all antibiotic treated S5 samples. Horses receiving antibiotics were significantly more likely to test positive for C. difficile or C. perfringens on fecal qPCR. In conclusion, response to antibiotic administration displays high inter-individual variability, but shows changes to the functions of fecal microbiota that may depend on the antibiotic used.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104993
JournalJournal of Equine Veterinary Science
Volume133
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The 25 research horses deserve recognition and thanks for their contributions. The authors would like to acknowledge Gluck research assistants Mackenzie Johnson, Emma Partridge, and Olivia Jacob for their contributions to conducting the study. Thank you to undergraduate researchers Abbey Mathias and Elizabeth Stanton for their assistance with horse handling and material organization. Of course, the authors would like to acknowledge UKY Maine Chance Farm Crew, led by Chad Tucker, for all of their support during the study. Furthermore, the authors would like to thank USDA ARS lab manager Jessica Ferrell and research assistant Jake Ibarra for assisting the primary author with media preparation. Thank you very much to the Applied Statistics lab at the University of Kentucky for helping analyze and interpret these data. Jordan L. Parker's graduate funding was made possible through the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Center's Wright-Markey Trust Endowment from 2021-2023. Brittany Davis and Michael Flythe were supported by USDA-ARS National Program 215, Grass, Forage, Rangeland Agroecosystems. This work did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. Preliminary results were presented as an Abstract at the American Society for Microbiology KY-TN Regional Conference, Johnsonville, TN 22 October 2022.

Funding Information:
The 25 research horses deserve recognition and thanks for their contributions. The authors would like to acknowledge Gluck research assistants Mackenzie Johnson, Emma Partridge, and Olivia Jacob for their contributions to conducting the study. Thank you to undergraduate researchers Abbey Mathias and Elizabeth Stanton for their assistance with horse handling and material organization. Of course, the authors would like to acknowledge UKY Maine Chance Farm Crew, led by Chad Tucker, for all of their support during the study. Furthermore, the authors would like to thank USDA ARS lab manager Jessica Ferrell and research assistant Jake Ibarra for assisting the primary author with media preparation. Thank you very much to the Applied Statistics lab at the University of Kentucky for helping analyze and interpret these data. Jordan L. Parker's graduate funding was made possible through the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Center's Wright-Markey Trust Endowment from 2021-2023. Brittany Davis and Michael Flythe were supported by USDA-ARS National Program 215, Grass, Forage, Rangeland Agroecosystems. This work did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. Preliminary results were presented as an Abstract at the American Society for Microbiology KY-TN Regional Conference, Johnsonville, TN 22 October 2022.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023

Keywords

  • Amino Acid and Peptide Utilizing Bacteria (APB)
  • Amylolytic
  • Antibiotic Associate Diarrhea (AAD)
  • Cellulolytic
  • Clostridioides difficile
  • Clostridium perfringens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Equine

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