Acta Vet. Brno 2021, 90: 171-178

Cultivable bacterial diversity of the canine dental plaque as a potential source of bacterial infections

Marián Maďar1, Jana Kačírová1, Aladár Maďari2, Rastislav Mucha3, Eva Styková4, Radomíra Nemcová1

1University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy in Košice, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Košice, Slovak Republic
2University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy in Košice, University Veterinary Hospital, Košice, Slovak Republic
3Slovak Academy of Sciences, Biomedical Research Center, Institute of Neurobiology, Košice, Slovak Republic
4University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy in Košice, Clinic of Horses, Košice, Slovak Republic

Received October 5, 2020
Accepted May 26, 2021

Dental diseases are a persistent problem, not only in humans, but very often in companion animals as well. Aetiological agents of these diseases are the dental plaque bacteria. In the present study, we focused on identifying cultivable bacteria living in the dental plaque of dogs, specifically dogs suffering from the early stages of periodontal disease. Canine oral bacteria pose a risk to humans that get bitten by the dog, but they also have a zoonotic potential. Dental plaque samples were taken from five dogs of small breeds. Samples were cultured under aerobic and anaerobic conditions on several types of microbiological agars. All obtained and selected bacterial colonies were identified by PCR with universal primers for the 16S rRNA gene and the sequences of the 16S rRNA gene were compared with the sequences available in the GenBank database using BLASTn analysis. A total of 75 bacteria belonging to five phyla, predominantly to Firmicutes and Proteobacteria, were identified. The most frequent species was Pasteurella canis which was detected in all samples. In addition, representatives of the genera Actinomyces, Bacillus, Bacteroides, Corynebacterium, Frederiksenia, Fusobacterium, Haemophilus, Lactobacillus, Leucobacter, Neisseria, Ottowia, Porphyromonas, Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus, Stenotrophomonas and Streptococcus were detected in the samples. In the present study, a broad spectrum of bacteria in dental plaque samples, including canine periodontal pathogens such as Porphyromonas gulae or Porphyromonas macacae were identified. In addition, highly pathogenic bacteria, specifically Actinomyces hordeovulneris, Bacillus circulans, and Bacteroides pyogenes, which pose a serious risk to human health, were detected in samples.


This publication was supported by the Scientific Grant Agency of the Ministry of Education of the Slovak Republic under the contract no. VEGA 1/0788/19 and the project implementation: Medical University Science Park in Košice (MediPark, Košice) ITMS 26220220185 supported by the Operational Programme Research and Development, funded by the ERDF.


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