Diversity and nutritional modulation of fecal microbiota in the captive cheetah.

Promotor(s): 
External promotor(s): 
G. Janssens
M. Hesta
Description: 

This project is centered around the theory that diet type, through its metabolic interaction with the intestinal microbiota, has a considerable impact on intestinal health and general well-being of captive cheetahs. It can be hypothesized that the degree of fermentability of dietary compounds and the resulting spectrum of potentially beneficial and toxic metabolites are largely determined by the microbial diversity in the digestive system. In order to predict the outcome of health promotion of captive cheetahs through nutritional modulation, it is thus crucial to obtain comprehensive insights in the diversity and dynamics of the functional intestinal microbiota. To this end, two main research objectives are envisaged: (i) To explore the diversity and temporal stability of the predominant and thus functionally important intestinal microbiota in captive cheetahs using a series of culture-independent methods (ii) To investigate the effect of nutritional modulation through intake of indigestible animal tissue on the functional diversity of the intestinal cheetah microbiota, and to link the observed changes to metabolic data of ongoing research in order to predict the potential health benefits of different diet types.

Run time: 
01/10/2010 to 30/04/2015
Project titel (NL): 
Diversiteit en nutritionele manipulatie van fecale microbiota bij cheeta's in gevangenschap.
Project omschrijving (NL): 

Met dit project willen we de intestinale microbiota van cheeta's in gevangenschap karakteriseren. De specifieke focus ligt op de invloed van veranderingen in het strikt carnivoor dieet op fecale microbiota en de rol ervan in de spijsvertering. Gebaseerd op moleculaire technieken (PCR-DGGE, real-time PCR) en specifieke in vitro en in vivo studies, willen we indicatororganismen identificeren met bevorderlijke fermentatieprofielen. Zo willen we tot nieuwe inzichten komen in de rol van micro-organismen in het onderhouden van een normale intestinale gezondheid.