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CHANGES IN GUT MICROBIOTA COMPOSITION ASSOCIATED WITH THE PRESENCE OF ENTERIC PROTIST BLASTOCYSTIS IN CAPTIVE FOREST MUSK DEER (MOSCHUS BEREZOVSKII) (ID 690)
Blastocystis is a common protistan parasite inhabiting the gastrointestinal tract of a wide range of hosts including humans, domestic and wild animals. Many studies have revealed the associations between Blastocystis and gut microbiome in humans. However, only a few studies have focused on the associations between Blastocystis and gut microbiome of animals, especially in forest musk deer (Moschus berezovskii).
Two subtypes of Blastocystis (ST5 and ST10) and Blastocystis-free were included in this study. The effects of the Blastocystis colonization on the intestinal bacterial community compositions were investigated using amplicon sequencing targeting the V4 variable region of the 16S rRNA.
We found that compared with the forest musk deer without Blastocystis, ST10-colonized forest musk deer had higher bacterial richness and diversity, while ST5-colonized forest musk deer showed a comparable bacterial diversity. Likewise, beta diversity revealed significant differences in bacterial community structure between ST10-colonized and Blastocystis-free forest musk deer. The proportion of Bacteroidetes was significantly enriched in ST10-colonized forest musk deer. Bacterial community structure between ST5-colonized and Blastocystis-free forest musk deer did not differ significantly.
The present study explored the associations between Blastocystis and gut microbial community of forest musk deer for the first time, and revealed ST10 colonization, instead of ST5, is associated with higher bacterial diversity and shifted microbial structure. Our data provides valuable insights into the associations between gut microbiomes and parasites.