2007 Volume 53 Issue 3 Pages 191-200
Diversity and compositions of the Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, and Bifidobacterium group in the feces of six healthy, actively racing horses (Thoroughbreds) were analyzed by using PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and real-time PCR with primer sets specific for each group. PCR-DGGE analysis of the feces showed that Lactobacillus equi, Lactobacillus johnsonii, a phylogenetic relative of Lactobacillus salivarius, a phylogenetic relative of Lactobacillus gastricus, and Weissella confusa were predominant in almost all of the feces tested, and Streptococcus bovis/Streptococcus equinus was predominant in the Streptococcus group. The Bifidobacterium group was not detected by single-PCR but atypical species of the group were found in three of the six Thoroughbreds tested by nested-PCR. Calculation and estimation of lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria revealed that lactic acid bacteria were predominant in the feces and bifidobacteria were minor. These results indicate that the community of lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria in horse feces are unique because of the presence of specific species for horse feces and a minority of the Bifidobacterium group. Repeated tests of the feces from the same horse over 3 months showed that the diversity and composition of lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria in the feces was basically stable throughout the test period.