Pereira, A.C. & Cunha, M.V. (2020) An effective culturomics approach to study the gut microbiota of mammals.Research in Microbiology, 171(8), 290-300. DOI:10.1016/j.resmic.2020.09.001 (IF2019 3,217; Q2 Microbiology)
The microbial characterization of the mammal’s gut is an emerging research area, wherein culturomics methodologies applied to human samples are transposed to the animal context without improvement. In this work, using Egyptian mongoose as a model, we explore wet bench conditions to define an effective experimental design based on culturomics and DNA barcoding with potential application to different mammal species. After testing a battery of solid media and enrichments, we show that YCFA-based media, in aerobic and anaerobic conditions, together with PDA supplemented with chloramphenicol, are sufficient to maximize bacterial and fungal microbiota diversity. The pasteurization of the sample enrichment before cultivation is central to gain insight into sporogenic communities. We suggest the application of this optimized culturomics strategy to accurately expand knowledge on the microbial richness of mammals’ gut, maximizing the application of common laboratory resources, without dramatic time and consumables expenditure but with high resolution of microbial landscapes. The analysis of ten fecal samples proved adequate to assess the core gastrointestinal microbiota of the mesocarnivore under analysis. This approach may empower most microbiology laboratories, particularly the veterinary, to perform studies on mammal’s microbiota, and, in contrast with metagenomics, enabling the recovery of live bacteria for further studies.