Fecal Microbiota of Healthy Horses and Horses with Colitis and its Association with Laminitis and Survival
The taxa associated with health and gastrointestinal diseases in horses are not fully understood. The first study reported here investigated the fecal microbiota of healthy horses housed in different environments under distinctive management practices. The bacterial communities of horses from the same geographic area but kept under different management practices differed significantly suggesting a strong effect of environmental condition and management practices on the gastrointestinal microbiota development in horses. The second study investigated the fecal microbiota of horses with colitis and its association with laminitis, and survival. The diversity and structure of the microbiota of colitis horses differed significantly compared to healthy horses. However, only minor, but specific changes in taxa, were identified in horses that developed laminitis or succumbed to colitis. This study demonstrated that dysbiosis occurs in equine colitis and that changes in microbiota can be associated with laminitis or severity of diseases in horses with colitis.