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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2021

Authors: Wetzels, SU; Strachan, CR; Conrady, B; Wagner, M; Burgener, IA; Virányi, Z; Selberherr, E

Title: Wolves, dogs and humans in regular contact can mutually impact each other's skin microbiota.

Source: Sci Rep. 2021; 11(1):17106

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Burgener Iwan
Selberherr Evelyne
Strachan Cameron
Viranyi Zsofia
Wagner Martin
Wetzels Stefanie

Vetmed Research Units
University Clinic for Small Animals, Clinical Unit of Internal Medicine Small Animals
Messerli Research Institute, Comparative Cognition
Institute of Food Safety, Food Technology and Veterinary Public Health, Unit of Food Microbiology

Project(s): A new look at domestication: the role of oxytocin in wolves’ and dogs’ social relationships with conspecific and human partners.

Austrian Competence Centre for Feed and Food Quality, Safety and Innovation

Animals’ understanding of their partner’s role in cooperative economic games

In contrast to humans and dogs, the skin microbiota of wolves is yet to be described. Here, we investigated the skin microbiota of dogs and wolves kept in outdoor packs at the Wolf Science Center (WSC) via 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. Skin swab samples were also collected from human care takers and their pet dogs. When comparing the three canine groups, representing different degrees of human contact to the care takers and each other, the pet dogs showed the highest level of diversity. Additionally, while human skin was dominated by a few abundant phylotypes, the skin microbiota of the care takers who had particularly close contact with the WSC animals was more similar to the microbiota of dogs and wolves compared to the humans who had less contact with these animals. Our results suggest that domestication may have an impact on the diversity of the skin microbiota, and that the canine skin microbiota can be shared with humans, depending on the level of interaction.© 2021. The Author(s).

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