Canine oral microbiota

Dogs naturally develop oral melanomas, very aggressive. In addition, these melanomas are race-specific, which presuppose genetic predispositions, and affect older dogs, indicating the presence of numerous somatic alterations and risk factors other than genetic. Most melanomas, including mucosal melanomas, are non-UV related. Thus, these melanomas are conducive to the search for environmental factors other than exposure to the sun. The frequency of oral melanomas and the racial specificity is such in dogs, that we hypothesize that food, toxic compounds or repetitive and specific infections of the mouth of dogs could contribute to the development of canine oral melanomas, at the same time. as the exposure to the sun for human skin melanomas. The direct link between these different imbalances of the oral microbiota (or dysbiosis) and the occurrence of inflammatory diseases, allergies or cancers is now well documented. Several studies show similarities between canine and human microbiota.

In humans, mucosal melanomas are of very poor prognosis but still poorly studied in Caucasian populations, because they are rarer than in Asian or African populations. Since dogs share our environment and are exposed to the same carcinogenic compounds, we can assume that such risk factors could also participate in the initiation and progression of human mucosal melanomas.

Human and canine melanomas show strong clinical, histological and treatment response analogies. Unfortunately, not all environmental risk factors are clearly identified. That’s why our team has initiated research into environmental modifications, particularly of the oral microbiota, in the case of mucosal melanomas in dogs, in order to discover the mechanisms that influence the development of these cancers and which will be used for research in the dog and man.

The main objective of this project is :

  • to determine the composition of oral microbiota of healthy dogs and dogs with oral melanoma
  • to identify possible correlations between oral dysbiosis and the predisposition and / or development of oral melanoma

The genetic research project on the dog’s microbiota therefore aims to :

  • Compare microbiota of healthy dogs with oral melanoma
  • Transfer this knowledge to cases of human oral melanoma

This project, like the other projects of our team, involves veterinary specialists, clubs, breeders, and owners, who, anxious to advance research in this area, agree to participate in the project.

To participate in this research, please send us :

  • an EDTA blood sample and saliva samples from cotton swabs of dogs of all breeds with melanoma, as well as non-cancer old dogs that serve as controls : CNRS_Microbiote_Melanome_Prococole
  • a completed clinical questionnaire for each affected dog : CNRS_Microbiote_Melanome_ Questionnaire
  • a photocopy of the pedigree or information of the parents
  • a photocopy of the clinical results

In case of tumor biopsy, surgery or death of the dog, samples of tumor samples (and non-tumor, if autopsy) in specific media for further analysis (tubes supplied by us, on request) would be very helpful. In this case, we should warn (tel .: 02 23 23 45 09) quickly or ideally before, so that we tell you or your veterinarian the procedure to follow.

This work is carried out at the CNRS in Rennes, in collaboration with Dr. Jérôme Adabie (LHA, ENV Nantes), Dr. Florian Boutoille (Atlantia, Nantes), veterinary histopathology laboratories (LAPVSO, Toulouse and IDEXX Alfort), with the many veterinary practitioners and thanks to the many owners and breeders who agree to take their dog (s).

Oral melanoma

Photo M. Delverdier

We recall that the data collected at the CNRS remain confidential.

For more information, you can contact our team by phone 02 23 23 45 09 or by email