Background Health surveillance of murine colonies employed for scientific purposes aim at detecting unwanted infection that can affect the well-being of animals and personnel, and potentially undermine scientific results. In this study, we investigated the use of a next-generation sequencing (NGS) metagenomic approach for monitoring the microbiota composition and uncovering the possible presence of pathogens in mice housed in specific pathogen-free (SPF) or conventional (non-SPF) facilities. Results Analysis of metagenomic NGS assay through public and free algorithms and databases allowed to precisely assess the composition of mouse gut microbiome and quantify the contribution of the different microorganisms at the species level. Sequence analysis allowed the uncovering of pathogens or the presence of imbalances in the microbiota composition. In several cases, fecal pellets taken from conventional facilities were found to carry gene sequences from bacterial pathogens (Helicobacter hepaticus, Helicobacter typhlonius, Chlamydia muridarum, Streptococcus pyogenes, Rodentibacter pneumotropicus, Citrobacter rodentium, Staphylococcus aureus), intestinal protozoa (Entamoeba muris, Tritrichomonas muris, Spironucleus muris) nematoda (Aspiculuris tetraptera, Syphacia obvelata), eukaryotic parasites (Myocoptes musculinus) and RNA virus (Norwalk virus). Thus, the use of NGS metagenomics can reduce the number of tests required for the detection of pathogens and avoid the use of sentinel mice. Conclusions In summary, in comparison with standard approaches, which require multiple types of test, NGS assay can detect bacteria, fungi, DNA and RNA viruses, and eukaryotic parasites from fecal pellets in a single test. Considering the need to protect animal well-being and to improve the success and reproducibility of preclinical studies, this work provides the proof-of-concept that the use of NGS metagenomics for health monitoring of laboratory mice is a feasible and dependable approach, that is able to broaden the current concept of health monitoring of laboratory mice from "pathogen surveillance" to a more inclusive "microbiota surveillance".

A comprehensive approach for microbiota and health monitoring in mouse colonies using metagenomic shotgun sequencing

Sabbioni, Silvia
Ultimo
2021

Abstract

Background Health surveillance of murine colonies employed for scientific purposes aim at detecting unwanted infection that can affect the well-being of animals and personnel, and potentially undermine scientific results. In this study, we investigated the use of a next-generation sequencing (NGS) metagenomic approach for monitoring the microbiota composition and uncovering the possible presence of pathogens in mice housed in specific pathogen-free (SPF) or conventional (non-SPF) facilities. Results Analysis of metagenomic NGS assay through public and free algorithms and databases allowed to precisely assess the composition of mouse gut microbiome and quantify the contribution of the different microorganisms at the species level. Sequence analysis allowed the uncovering of pathogens or the presence of imbalances in the microbiota composition. In several cases, fecal pellets taken from conventional facilities were found to carry gene sequences from bacterial pathogens (Helicobacter hepaticus, Helicobacter typhlonius, Chlamydia muridarum, Streptococcus pyogenes, Rodentibacter pneumotropicus, Citrobacter rodentium, Staphylococcus aureus), intestinal protozoa (Entamoeba muris, Tritrichomonas muris, Spironucleus muris) nematoda (Aspiculuris tetraptera, Syphacia obvelata), eukaryotic parasites (Myocoptes musculinus) and RNA virus (Norwalk virus). Thus, the use of NGS metagenomics can reduce the number of tests required for the detection of pathogens and avoid the use of sentinel mice. Conclusions In summary, in comparison with standard approaches, which require multiple types of test, NGS assay can detect bacteria, fungi, DNA and RNA viruses, and eukaryotic parasites from fecal pellets in a single test. Considering the need to protect animal well-being and to improve the success and reproducibility of preclinical studies, this work provides the proof-of-concept that the use of NGS metagenomics for health monitoring of laboratory mice is a feasible and dependable approach, that is able to broaden the current concept of health monitoring of laboratory mice from "pathogen surveillance" to a more inclusive "microbiota surveillance".
Scavizzi, Ferdinando; Bassi, Cristian; Lupini, Laura; Guerriero, Paola; Raspa, Marcello; Sabbioni, Silvia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2481596
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