Article ID: BMFH-2016-021
Although it is established that the composition of the human intestinal microbiota changes with age, transition of the intestinal microbiota of animals with age has not been well studied. In the present study, we collected fresh fecal samples from dogs of 5 different age groups (pre-weanling, weanling, young, aged, senile) and analyzed the compositions of their intestinal microbiota with a culture-based method. The results suggested that the composition of the canine intestinal microbiota also changes with age. Among intestinal bacteria predominant in dog intestines, lactobacilli appeared to change with age. Both the number and the prevalence of lactobacilli tended to decrease when dogs became older. Bifidobacteria, on the other hand, was not predominant in the intestine of the dogs. We also identified lactobacilli at the species level based on 16S rRNA gene sequences and found that the species composition of Lactobacillus also changed with age. It was further suggested that bacteria species beneficial to host animals may differ depending on the host species.