In recent dog and cat experiments, a novel milk oligosaccharide biosimilar (GNU100) positively modulated fecal microbiota and metabolite profiles, suggesting benefits to gastrointestinal health. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of GNU100 on the fecal characteristics, microbiota, and bile acid (BA) concentrations of healthy adult dogs treated with antibiotics. Twelve healthy adult female dogs (mean age: 3.74±2.4 y) were used in an 8-week crossover design study (dogs underwent both treatments). All dogs were fed a control diet during a 2-week baseline, then randomly allotted to 1 of 2 treatments (diet only or diet + 1% GNU100) for another 6 weeks. From weeks 2-4, dogs were orally administered metronidazole (20 mg/kg BW) twice daily. Fecal scores were recorded daily and fresh fecal samples were collected at weeks 2, 4, 5, 6, and 8 for measurement of pH, dry matter, microbiota populations, and BA, immunoglobulin A, and calprotectin concentrations. On weeks 0, 4, and 8, blood samples were collected for serum chemistry and hematology analysis. All data were analyzed as repeated measures using the Mixed Models procedure of SAS version 9.4, with significance considered P<0.05. Metronidazole increased (P<0.0001) fecal scores (looser stools) and modified (P<0.05) fecal microbiota and BA profiles. Using qPCR, metronidazole reduced fecal Blautia, Fusobacterium, Turicibacter, Clostridium hiranonis, and Faecalibacterium abundances, and increased fecal Streptococcus and Escherichia coli abundances. DNA sequencing analysis demonstrated that metronidazole reduced microbial alpha diversity and influenced the relative abundance of 20 bacterial genera and families. Metronidazole also increased primary BA and reduced secondary BA concentrations. Most antibiotic-induced changes returned to baseline by week 8. Fecal scores were more stable (P=0.01) in GNU100-fed dogs than controls after antibiotic administration. GNU100 also influenced fecal microbiota and BA profiles, reducing (P<0.05) the influence of metronidazole on microbial alpha diversity and returning some fecal microbiota and secondary BA to baseline levels at a quicker (P<0.05) rate than controls. In conclusion, our results suggest that GNU100 supplementation provides benefits to dogs treated with antibiotics, providing more stable fecal scores, maintaining microbial diversity, and allowing for quicker recovery of microbiota and secondary BA profiles which play an essential role in gut health.
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