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Enteric and oral bacterial microbiome/microbiota of Brazilian neotropical felids

Grant number: 23/04737-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2023
Effective date (End): August 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Veterinary Medicine - Preventive Veterinary Medicine
Principal Investigator:Marcio Garcia Ribeiro
Grantee:Larissa Onuki Zeferino
Host Institution: Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia (FMVZ). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Botucatu. Botucatu , SP, Brazil


Wild cats are widely distributed throughout all world ecosystems, except Antarctica and Australia. Brazil shelters in its territory nine native species, since North region, Cerrado, Pantanal, and some areas from South and Southeast. These animals are divided into three genders, as follows: Leopardus, Panthera, and Puma, which can be grouped as neotropical felids due to their geographical distribution and habitat, living since Mexico up to Argentina. Extremely agile, with carnivorous habits, stalking hunt, and swimming skills, these wild cats are well-adapted to their biomes. Nevertheless, anthropic actions, e.g., deforestation, fires, and predatory hunting result in significative changes in the ecosystems, which may lead to a drastic decrease in the populations of these wild species, including live risks characterized since vulnerable to extinct, such as jaguar (Panthera onca), the biggest America's wild feline. Thus, biomes, habits, and ecology of neotropical felids investigations provide subsidies for species' conservation. In this scenario, studies regarding oral microbiome and enteric microbiota are restricted, particularly using advanced molecular techniques on bacterial identification at species-level. In fact, the identification of the microbial populations in these mucous membranes in animals with distinct alimentary habits, from different Brazilian biomes, enables recognize the normal microbiota, aiming at possible oral and enteric infections diagnosis, to investigate antimicrobial sensitivity patterns of the bacterial, and zoonotic potential of the agents, as well as contribute to conservation plans. Therefore, the present study pretends to investigate bacterial species present in oral and enteric microbiota of freeliving neotropical felids in Brazil, using advanced molecular techniques to the identification of micro-organisms at species-level (i.e., matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry - MALDI-TOF MS and large-scale sequencing), as well as in vitro fecal susceptibility of bacteria isolated from feces.

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