New Research Reveals Bacteria Associated With Feline Gum Disease for the First Time

BRUSSELS, November 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --

Studies reveal the differences in species of bacteria found in cat and human plaque and pave the way for more effective treatment for one of the most commonly diagnosed
health problems in cats   
Gum disease is one of the most commonly diagnosed health problems in cats, yet relatively little was understood about the bacteria associated with it - until now. Two collaborative studies have been conducted by researchers from the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition together with expert veterinary dentists and the Harvard affiliated Forsyth Institute. The work, published in Veterinary Microbiology in February 2015 and PLOS ONE today, sheds new light on feline gum disease, identifying the most common bacterial species associated with health and disease in cats for the first time.
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Using the latest DNA sequencing technologies, researchers identified 267 bacterial species present in feline dental plaque and built a database detailing the differences between bacterial populations in healthy cats and those in cats with gum disease.
"This knowledge is a first step in understanding the potential for improving oral health of cats through dietary interventions that target disease-associated bacteria," said Dr. Ian Davis, Oral Health Researcher at WALTHAM, part of Mars Petcare.
The studies also revealed that the bacterial species in feline plaque were more similar to those observed in canine plaque than to those found in humans. This suggests that interventions targeted at bacteria which cause oral disease in humans are unlikely to be effective in cats, and there is more potential to learn from interventions that work well in dogs.
Dr. Davis added: "It's important for pet owners to know that cats are just as susceptible to gum disease as dogs and understand the importance of maintaining a good oral hygiene routine; ideally including tooth brushing and dental treats or a specific dental diet."  
The latest study, published today in PLOS ONE, can be downloaded by clicking on this link
About the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition: Celebrating over 50 years of innovative science, the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition serves as a leading scientific authority in advancing the frontiers of research into the nutrition and health of companion animals. Located in Leicestershire, England, the renowned state-of-the-art science institute for Mars, Incorporated generates knowledge that enables the development of innovative products that meet pets' needs in a practical way. Since the publication of its first original research in 1963, WALTHAM has pioneered many important breakthroughs in the field of pet nutrition and human-animal interaction, resulting in more than 1,700 publications, including over 600 peer-review scientific papers. Today, WALTHAM continues to collaborate with the world's foremost scientific institutes, driving Mars' Petcare vision to create a better world for pets and providing the science and expertise that underpins leading Mars brands such as PEDIGREE(R), WHISKAS (R), ROYAL CANIN(R), Banfield Pet Hospital, and IAMS(R), CESAR(R), NUTRO(R), SHEBA(R), DREAMIES(R) and EUKANUBA(R).
About Mars, Incorporated: 
In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen and established Mars' first roots as a confectionery company.  In the 1920s, Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY(R) bar. In 1932, Forrest, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of  building a business based on the objective of creating a "mutuality of benefits for all stakeholders" - this objective serves as the foundation of Mars, Incorporated today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $33 billion, six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, Symbioscience, and more than 75,000 Associates worldwide that are putting its Principles into action to make a difference for people and the planet through its performance.For more information, please visit Follow us:,, .


Mars Petcare

CONTACT: Media contact: Abigail Stevenson,, Telephone: +44-7966-920486

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