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Animals are home to a rich array of microorganisms, which are collectively referred to as the microbiome. The microbiome is located on all surfaces of the animal, including its gut, and intricately communicates with, and even influences, animal physiology. While much about the microbiome has been gleaned through laboratory studies, it is unknown how microbiomes are involved in the development, health and survival of wildlife in natural settings, especially in young animals. Researchers will determine how changes in gut and nasal microbiomes of Cape buffalo calves correlate with their development, survival and disease susceptibility. Findings may lead to novel monitoring tools for calf and herd health, especially during periods of altered seasonal diets, frequent pathogen exposures and variable climatic conditions.

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Oregon State University
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United States
Leigh Combrink, MSc, PhD
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