Diabetic cats have decreased gut microbial diversity and a lack of butyrate producing bacteria
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionScientific Reports. 2019, 9 . 10.1038/s41598-019-41195-0
Obesity and inactivity are major risk factors of feline diabetes mellitus (FDM) and human type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM). In recent years, changes in the gut microbiota have been suggested as a contributing factor to T2DM. Whether the gut microbiota (GM) composition plays a role in FDM remains unknown. The aim of the current study was firstly a cross-sectional comparison of the GM of diabetic cats, to that of lean, and of obese/overweight non-diabetic cats of a similar age. Specifically, fecal samples from 82 privately-owned cats from Denmark and Switzerland were sequenced using 16S rRNA gene amplicon metabarcoding. Secondly dietary intervention data was generated, by obtaining additional samples from a subset of cats after placing them on a high-protein diet for four weeks. The GM diversity of diabetic cats was lower than that of lean cats in the cross-sectional study, and lower compared to lean and to overweight/obese cats after diet intervention. Diabetic cats also exhibited fewer Anaerotruncus, Dialister, and unknown Ruminococcaceae than lean cats. Serum fructosamine levels correlated negatively with Prevotellaceae abundance and positively with Enterobacteriaceae abundance. In summary the intestinal microbiota of diabetic cats was characterized by decreased GM diversity and loss of butyrate producing bacterial genera.