Changes in the gut microbiome and colic in horses: Are they causes or consequences?

Felipe Lara, Rodrigo Castro, Pamela Thomson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The gut microbiome is a compound for millions of microorganisms that coexist in an organized way and contribute to the fermentation of different types of indigestible fibers by the small intestine. Some techniques, such as the massive sequencing of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene, have made it possible to obtain information about the abundance and functionality of the microorganisms that compose the equine gut microbiome and the interaction with their environment. Recent studies have identified the change in the composition of the intestinal microbiome during and after a colic episode, although is not clear if it is a cause or a consequence. The objective of this review was to elucidate whether there is a direct relationship between the changes that occur in the gut microbiome and colic in the equine. A systematized search in Embase, Web of Science, and PubMed was realized. Although there is good evidence that horses with colic have a change in their gut microbiome, it is not fully understood whether these changes are causes or effects. It is necessary to delve into this topic, considering studying larger population sizes. In addition, it would be of great value to previously know the normal intestinal microbiome of a group of healthy horses, which in the future could develop an episode of colic, to compare the before and after in the same individual.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-249
Number of pages8
JournalOpen Veterinary Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Colic
  • Equine
  • Gut
  • Microbiome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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