Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) is a devastating cause of diarrhea in pigs worldwide. Most of studies have focused on molecular and pathogenic characterization of PEDV, whereas there were limited studies in understanding the role of gut microbiota (GM) in viral-Associated diarrhea. Here, using the Illumina MiSeq platform, we examined and compared the impact of PEDV infection on the GM of sows and their piglets less than 10 days old. Our results showed that PEDV caused alternations in the structure and abundance of GM from levels of phylum to genus, and even species. For sows, a significant decrease of observed species was found in diarrheal sows than that in healthy sows (p < 0.05). The unweighted and weighted UniFrac distances also revealed considerable segregations of GM structure among healthy, asymptomatic, and diarrheal sows. For piglets, Bacteroidetes, the dominant bacteria in healthy piglets, were replaced by Firmicutes in asymptomatic and diarrheal piglets. The abundances of Fusobacteria and Proteobacteria were also remarkably increased in asymptomatic piglets and diarrheal piglets when compared to those of the healthy piglets. Our findings demonstrated that PEDV infection caused severe perturbations of GM, reduced probiotic bacteria, and enriched pathogenic bacteria.
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