Recent studies show kittens with diarrhea shed an increased quantity of bacteria commonly associated with diarrhea in children, called enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC). Like many other diarrhea-causing organisms, signs associated with EPEC are influenced by the intestinal environment, including the resident organisms, termed microbiota. Researchers will characterize gut microbiota in kittens with and without diarrhea to help determine specific changes associated with EPEC and diarrhea. Identification of microbiota species or communities that influence signs of EPEC and other diarrhea-causing organisms may help unravel the gut’s defense mechanisms. This new information may lead to the development of novel therapeutics, including pre- and/or probiotics, for cats and kittens, including shelter animals where gastrointestinal disease and diarrhea are problematic and sometimes deadly.
Grant amount awarded
Michigan State University
Victoria Watson, DVM
Gastroenterology (Liver, Stomach, Intestinal Tract)