Strain-specific detection of orally administered canine jejunum-dominatedLactobacillus acidophilusLAB20 in dog faeces by real-time PCR targeted to the novel surface layer protein

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Lactobacillus acidophilus LAB20 has potential to be a probiotic strain because it can be present at high numbers in the jejunum of dog. To specifically detect LAB20 from dog faecal samples, a real-time PCR protocol was developed targeting the novel surface (S) layer protein gene of LAB20. The presence of S-layer protein was verified by N-terminal sequencing of the approximately 50-kDa major band from SDS-PAGE gel. The corresponding S-layer gene was amplified by inverse PCR using homology to known S-layers and sequenced. This novel S-layer protein has low sequence similarity to other S-layer proteins in the N-terminal region (32–211 aa, 7–39%). This enabled designing strain-specific PCR primers. The primer set was utilized to study intestinal persistence of LAB20 in dog that was fed with LAB20 fermented milk for 5 days. The results showed that LAB20 can be detected from dog faecal sample after 6 weeks with 104·53 DNA copies g−1 postadministration. It suggested that LAB20 could be a good candidate to study the mechanism behind its persistence and dominance in dog intestine and maybe utilize it as a probiotic for canine.Significance and Impact of the Study: A real-time PCR method was developed to detect Lactobacillus acidophilus LAB20, a strain that was previously found dominant in canine gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The quantitative detection was based on targeting to variation region of a novel S-layer protein found in LAB20, allowing to specifically enumerate LAB20 from dog faeces. The results showed that the real-time PCR method was sensitive enough to be used in later intervention studies. Interestingly, LAB20 was found to persist in dog GI tract for 6 weeks. Therefore, LAB20 could be a good candidate to study its colonization and potentially utilize as a canine probiotic.

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