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Microorganisms 2018, 6(3), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms6030076

A Comparative Study on the Faecal Bacterial Community and Potential Zoonotic Bacteria of Muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) in Northeast Greenland, Northwest Greenland and Norway

1
Department of Bioscience, Faculty of Science and Technology, Arctic Research Centre, Aarhus University, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark
2
Department of Veterinary Clinical and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, 1870 Frederiksberg, Denmark
3
Centre for GeoGenetics, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, 1350 Copenhagen, Denmark
4
Department of Arctic and Marine Biology, UiT—The Arctic University of Norway, 9037 Tromsø, Norway
5
Copenhagen Zoo, Centre for Zoo and Wild Animal Health, DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Current address: Department of Ecosystem and Public Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 4Z6, Canada.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 May 2018 / Revised: 11 July 2018 / Accepted: 19 July 2018 / Published: 25 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife Microbiology)
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Abstract

Muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) are ruminants adapted to a high-fibre diet. There is increasing interest in the role that gut microbes play in the digestion and utilization of these specialized diets but only limited data available on the gut microbiome of high-Arctic animals. In this study, we metabarcoded the 16S rRNA region of faecal samples from muskoxen of Northeast Greenland, Northwest Greenland and Norway, and quantified the effects of physiological and temporal factors on bacterial composition. We found significant effects of body mass, year of sampling and location on the gut bacterial communities of North East Greenland muskoxen. These effects were however dwarfed by the effects of location, emphasizing the importance of the local ecology on the gut bacterial community. Habitat alterations and rising temperatures may therefore have a considerable impact on muskoxen health and reproductive success. Moreover, muskoxen are hunted and consumed in Greenland, Canada and Alaska; therefore, this study also screened for potential zoonoses of food safety interest. A total of 13 potentially zoonotic genera were identified, including the genera Erysipelothrix and Yersinia implicated in recent mass die-offs of the muskoxen themselves. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ovibos moschatus; muskoxen; Arctic; zoonoses; 16S rRNA; metabarcoding; faecal bacterial community Ovibos moschatus; muskoxen; Arctic; zoonoses; 16S rRNA; metabarcoding; faecal bacterial community
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Andersen-Ranberg, E.U.; Barnes, C.J.; Rasmussen, L.; Salgado-Flores, A.; Grøndahl, C.; Mosbacher, J.B.; Hansen, A.J.; Sundset, M.A.; Schmidt, N.M.; Sonne, C. A Comparative Study on the Faecal Bacterial Community and Potential Zoonotic Bacteria of Muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) in Northeast Greenland, Northwest Greenland and Norway. Microorganisms 2018, 6, 76.

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