Open-label trial of a multi-strain synbiotic in cats with chronic diarrhea
ABSTRACT This study was designed to test the hypothesis that in cats with chronic diarrhea the daily administration of a proprietary synbiotic (Proviable-DC) would result in an improvement in stool character, as assessed by the owner. Adult cats with chronic diarrhea were recruited for the study and screened for systemic diseases. Fecal flotation, wet mount, immunofluorescence assay (IFA) for Giardia and Cryptosporidium species, and Tritrichomonas species polymerase chain reactions (PCRs) were used to screen for intestinal parasitism. The synbiotic was administered for 21 days; otherwise, no changes were made to ongoing treatment(s) or diet. The severity of the diarrhea was assessed using a standardized fecal scoring system and the owner's subjective perception before, and after, supplementation. The mean fecal score for the 53 cats completing the study decreased from 6.0 to 4.4, representing a significantly (P <0.001) firmer stool character. Seventy-two percent of owners perceived an improvement in their cat's diarrhea following a 21-day course of synbiotic supplementation.
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ABSTRACT: The intestinal microbiota is the collection of the living microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and viruses) inhabiting the gastrointestinal tract. Novel bacterial identification approaches have revealed that the gastrointestinal microbiota of dogs and cats is, similarly to humans, a highly complex ecosystem. Studies in dogs and cats have demonstrated that acute and chronic gastrointestinal diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), are associated with alterations in the small intestinal and fecal microbial communities. Of interest is that these alterations are generally similar to the dysbiosis observed in humans with IBD or animal models of intestinal inflammation, suggesting that microbial responses to inflammatory conditions of the gut are conserved across mammalian host types. Studies have also revealed possible underlying susceptibilities in the innate immune system of dogs and cats with IBD, which further demonstrate the intricate relationship between gut microbiota and host health. Commonly identified microbiome changes in IBD are decreases in bacterial groups within the phyla Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, and increases within Proteobacteia. Furthermore, a reduction in the diversity of Clostridium clusters XIVa and IV (i.e., Lachnospiraceae and Clostridium coccoides subgroups) are associated with IBD, suggesting that these bacterial groups may play an important role in maintenance of gastrointestinal health. Future studies are warranted to evaluate the functional changes associated with intestinal dysbiosis in dogs and cats.
Article: Probiotics – not all created equallyJournal of Small Animal Practice 09/2014; 55(9). DOI:10.1111/jsap.12263 · 0.91 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Approximately ∼15% of foster kittens die before 8-wks of age with most of these kittens demonstrating clinical signs or post-mortem evidence of enteritis. While a specific cause of enteritis is not determined in most cases; these kittens are often empirically administered probiotics that contain enterococci. The enterococci are members of the commensal intestinal microbiota but can also function as opportunistic pathogens. Given the complicated role of enterococci in health and disease, it would be valuable to better understand what constitutes a "healthy" enterococcal community in these kittens and how this microbiota is impacted by severe illness. In this study, we characterize the ileum mucosa-associated enterococcal community of 50 apparently healthy and 50 terminally ill foster kittens. In healthy kittens, E. hirae was the most common species of ileum mucosa-associated enterococci and was often observed to adhere extensively to the small intestinal epithelium. These E. hirae isolates generally lacked virulence traits. In contrast, non-E. hirae enterococci, notably E. faecalis, were more commonly isolated from the ileum mucosa of kittens with terminal illness. Isolates of E. faecalis had numerous virulence traits and multiple antimicrobial resistance. Moreover, attachment of E. coli to the intestinal epithelium was significantly associated with terminal illness and was not observed in any kitten with adherent E. hirae. These findings identify a significant difference in species of enterococci cultured from the ileum mucosa of kittens with terminal illness compared to healthy kittens. In contrast to prior case studies that associate enteroadherent E. hirae with diarrhea in young animals, these controlled studies identified E. hirae as more often isolated from healthy kittens and adherence of E. hirae as more common and extensive in healthy compared to sick kittens.Journal of clinical microbiology 08/2013; 51(11). DOI:10.1128/JCM.00481-13 · 4.23 Impact Factor