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Environment rather than breed or body site shapes the skin bacterial community of healthy sheep as revealed by metabarcoding


Jost, Stéphanie M; Cardona, Laëtitia; Rohrbach, Emmanuelle; Mathis, Alexander; Holliger, Christof; Verhulst, Niels O (2024). Environment rather than breed or body site shapes the skin bacterial community of healthy sheep as revealed by metabarcoding. Veterinary Dermatology, 35(3):273-283.

Abstract

BackgroundThe skin is inhabited by a variety of micro‐organisms, with bacteria representing the predominant taxon of the skin microbiome. In sheep, the skin bacterial community of healthy animals has been addressed in few studies, only with culture‐based methods or sequencing of cloned amplicons.ObjectivesThe objectives of this study were to determine the sheep skin bacterial community composition by using metabarcoding for a detailed characterisation and to determine the effect of body part, breed and environment.Materials and MethodsOverall, 267 samples were taken from 89 adult female sheep, belonging to three different breeds and kept on nine different farms in Switzerland. From every individual, one sample each was taken from belly, left ear and left leg and metabarcoding of the 16S rRNA V3–V4 hypervariable region was performed.ResultsThe main phyla identified were Actinobacteriota, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and Bacteriodota. The alpha diversity as determined by Shannon's diversity index was significantly different between sheep from different farms. Beta diversity analysis by principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) showed clustering of the samples by farm and body site, while breed had only a marginal influence. A sparse partial least squares discriminant analysis (sPLS‐DA) revealed seven main groups of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) of which groups of OTUs were specific for some farms.Conclusions and Clinical RelevanceThese findings indicate that environment has a larger influence on skin microbial variability than breed, although the sampled breeds, the most abundant ones in Switzerland, are phenotypically similar. Future studies on the sheep skin microbiome may lead to novel insights in skin diseases and prevention.

Abstract

BackgroundThe skin is inhabited by a variety of micro‐organisms, with bacteria representing the predominant taxon of the skin microbiome. In sheep, the skin bacterial community of healthy animals has been addressed in few studies, only with culture‐based methods or sequencing of cloned amplicons.ObjectivesThe objectives of this study were to determine the sheep skin bacterial community composition by using metabarcoding for a detailed characterisation and to determine the effect of body part, breed and environment.Materials and MethodsOverall, 267 samples were taken from 89 adult female sheep, belonging to three different breeds and kept on nine different farms in Switzerland. From every individual, one sample each was taken from belly, left ear and left leg and metabarcoding of the 16S rRNA V3–V4 hypervariable region was performed.ResultsThe main phyla identified were Actinobacteriota, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and Bacteriodota. The alpha diversity as determined by Shannon's diversity index was significantly different between sheep from different farms. Beta diversity analysis by principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) showed clustering of the samples by farm and body site, while breed had only a marginal influence. A sparse partial least squares discriminant analysis (sPLS‐DA) revealed seven main groups of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) of which groups of OTUs were specific for some farms.Conclusions and Clinical RelevanceThese findings indicate that environment has a larger influence on skin microbial variability than breed, although the sampled breeds, the most abundant ones in Switzerland, are phenotypically similar. Future studies on the sheep skin microbiome may lead to novel insights in skin diseases and prevention.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinärwissenschaftliches Institut > Institute of Parasitology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Parasitology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology
610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > General Veterinary
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Veterinary
Language:English
Date:1 June 2024
Deposited On:12 Feb 2024 14:40
Last Modified:30 Jun 2024 03:31
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0959-4493
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/vde.13223
PubMed ID:38082464
Project Information:
  • : FunderGebert Rüf Stiftung
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
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