The purpose of this study was to characterize the relationship of diet and management factors with the glandular gastric mucosal microbiome. We hypothesize that the gastric mucosal microbial community is influenced by diet and management factors. Our specific objective is to characterize the gastric mucosal microbiome in relation to these factors.
57 client-owned horses in the southern Louisiana region with and without equine glandular gastric disease.
Diet and management data were collected via a questionnaire. Gastroscopy was used for evaluation of equine gastric ulcer syndrome and collection of glandular mucosal pinch biopsies. 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing was used for microbiome analysis. Similarity and diversity indices and sequence read counts of individual taxa were compared between diet and management factors.
Differences were detected in association with offering hay, type of hay, sweet feed, turnout, and stalling. Offering hay and stalling showed differences in similarity indices, whereas hay type, sweet feed, and turnout showed differences in similarity and diversity indices. Offering hay, hay type, and sweet feed were also associated with differences in individual sequence read counts.
This study provides preliminary characterization of the complex relationship between the glandular gastric microbiome and diet/management factors. The ideal microbiome to promote a healthy glandular gastric environment remains unknown.