1731: A Novel Approach to Understanding How Meningoencephalomyelitis Develops In Dogs

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $31,104
Dr. Nick D Jeffery, BVSc, PhD; Iowa State University
January 1, 2013 - December 31, 2014
Sponsor(s): Chihuahua Club of America, Miniature Pinscher Club of America, Inc., Pug Dog Club of America, Inc., The Yorkshire Terrier Club of America, Inc.
Breed(s): Maltese, Chihuahua, West Highland White Terrier, Miniature Pinscher, Miniature Poodle, Pug, Yorkshire Terrier, Dachshund
Research Program Area: Neurology

Project Summary

The original hypothesis, that there will be a different population of microbiota between affected and control individuals (specifically that of Faecalibacterium spp) is not supported by the data. However, the data do suggest that gut bacterial populations may play a role in the development of this disease, just that their effect is not dominant over other factors that might also interact in determining the onset of this disease. The best interpretation of the data may be that the genetic background of each individual animal might influence the balance of the gut microbiota – thus, specific breeds might influence their risk of MUE through influence on the specific microbiota population they develop.

We have a wealth of further data from these sample populations and there is much further analysis that we can do to explore the role of different microbial populations as a causal factor for MUE. Our further analysis of the microbiota and comparisons between the microbiota in affected and unaffected dogs might provide further insights into whether specific subtypes of bacterial genus might be important in development of this disease.    


Jeffery, N. D., Barker, A. K., Alcott, C. J., Levine, J. M., Meren, I., Wengert, J., … Suchodolski, J. S. (2017). The Association of Specific Constituents of the Fecal Microbiota with Immune-Mediated Brain Disease in Dogs. PLOS ONE, 12(1), e0170589. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0170589

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