Efficacy of homeopathic and antibiotic treatment strategies in cases of mild and moderate bovine clinical mastitis
ABSTRACT The objective of this clinical control trial was to examine the effectiveness of the classical homeopathic treatment strategy in cases of mild and moderate bovine clinical mastitis in comparison with antibiotic and placebo treatments. Owing to characteristics of the selected herds, only cases of clinical mastitis caused by environmental pathogens and clinical cases with negative bacteriological result in the pre-treatment milk sample were included in the trial. A total of 136 lactating dairy cows with 147 affected quarters from four herds in Germany were randomly allocated to three treatment groups. The cows were examined on days 0, 1, 2 and on days 7, 14, 28 and 56 post initial infection to assess clinical signs. Simultaneously, with the exception of days 1 and 2, quarter milk samples for laboratory examinations (bacteriology, somatic cell count) were collected to assess bacteriological and cytological cure rates. On days 28 and 56, treatment strategies did not differ significantly with respect to the clinical outcomes and the total cure rate in cases of bacteriological negative mastitis (n=56). In cases of pathogen-positive mastitis (n=91), the cure rate after 4 and 8 weeks was similar between the two treatment strategies, homeopathy and antibiotic treatment, but the difference between the homeopathic and the placebo treatment at day 56 was significant (P<0·05). The results indicate a therapeutic effect of homeopathic treatment in cases of mild and moderate clinical mastitis. However, independent of treatment strategy and bacteriological status, the total cure rate was on a low level, revealing limitations in the effectiveness of both antibiotic and homeopathic treatment strategies.
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ABSTRACT: Bovine udder infections induce a variety of changes in gene expression of different growth factors that may suggest their possible role in glandular tissue protection or repair processes. Growth factors and also chemokines and cytokines may act synergistically to increase the infiltration of neutrophils and macrophages to promote angiogenesis, fibroplasia, matrix deposition, and, ultimately, re-epithelialization. Considering the vast applications, typically in human medicine, of platelet concentrate (PC) and its ease of preparation, the aim of our study was to evaluate an alternative therapy to stimulate the regeneration of glandular tissue, administering a concentration in excess of the growth factors contained in the PC. In each one of the 3 farms examined in the trial, PC was prepared from donor cows in good health, free from infections, and with no records of medications administered during the previous 2 mo. The platelet produced in one farm was used only for treating the cows of the same farm in a heterologous way. A total of 229 mastitic quarters were divided in 3 groups: antibiotic group (treated with intramammary antibiotic), antibiotic and PC group (treated intramammarily with antibiotics in association with PC), and PC group (treated with intramammary PC alone). The diagnosis of mastitis was based on somatic cell count and bacteriological evaluation of the milk from the affected quarter. Platelet concentrate, alone or in association with antibiotic, was used for 3 consecutive days as an unconventional therapy in bovine acute and chronic mastitis. Our data show that the associated action of antibiotic and PC performed significantly better than the antibiotic alone, either for the recovery of the affected mammary quarters or for somatic cell count reduction. In the same way, the association antibiotic plus PC showed significantly fewer relapses compared with the antibiotic alone, either for acute or chronic mastitis. The treatment with only PC did not show statistically significant differences compared with both antibiotic alone or associated treatment for acute mastitis, and it was better than the use of only antibiotic for chronic mastitis. Our results show that PC alone may be useful for a quick resolution of the inflammatory response, playing a role in limiting the tissue damage to the mammary gland parenchyma and reducing the recurrence rates.Journal of Dairy Science 10/2014; 97(10). DOI:10.3168/jds.2014-7999 · 2.55 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of veterinary homeopathy has not previously been undertaken. For all medical conditions and species collectively, we tested the hypothesis that the outcome of homeopathic intervention (treatment and/or prophylaxis, individualised and/or non-individualised) is distinguishable from corresponding intervention using placebos. All facets of the review, including literature search strategy, study eligibility, data extraction and assessment of risk of bias, were described in an earlier paper. A trial was judged to comprise reliable evidence if its risk of bias was low or was unclear in specific domains of assessment. Effect size was reported as odds ratio (OR). A trial was judged free of vested interest if it was not funded by a homeopathic pharmacy. Meta-analysis was conducted using the random-effects model, with hypothesis-driven sensitivity analysis based on risk of bias. Nine of 15 trials with extractable data displayed high risk of bias; low or unclear risk of bias was attributed to each of the remaining six trials, only two of which comprised reliable evidence without overt vested interest. For all N = 15 trials, pooled OR = 1.69 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.12 to 2.56]; P = 0.01. For the N = 2 trials with suitably reliable evidence, pooled OR = 2.62 [95% CI, 1.13 to 6.05]; P = 0.02). Meta-analysis provides some very limited evidence that clinical intervention in animals using homeopathic medicines is distinguishable from corresponding intervention using placebos. The low number and quality of the trials hinders a more decisive conclusion. Copyright © 2014 The Faculty of Homeopathy. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.Homeopathy: the journal of the Faculty of Homeopathy 01/2015; 104(1):3-8. DOI:10.1016/j.homp.2014.11.001 · 0.75 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A systematic review of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of veterinary homeopathy has not previously been undertaken. Using Cochrane methods, this review aims to assess risk of bias and to quantify the effect size of homeopathic intervention compared with placebo for each eligible peer-reviewed trial. Judgement in seven assessment domains enabled a trial's risk of bias to be designated as low, unclear or high. A trial was judged to comprise reliable evidence if its risk of bias was low or was unclear in specified domains. A trial was considered to be free of vested interest if it was not funded by a homeopathic pharmacy. The 18 eligible RCTs were disparate in nature, representing four species and 11 different medical conditions. Reliable evidence, free from vested interest, was identified in two trials: homeopathic Coli had a prophylactic effect on porcine diarrhoea (odds ratio 3.89, 95 per cent confidence interval [CI], 1.19 to 12.68, P=0.02); and individualised homeopathic treatment did not have a more beneficial effect on bovine mastitis than placebo intervention (standardised mean difference -0.31, 95 per cent CI, -0.97 to 0.34, P=0.35). Mixed findings from the only two placebo-controlled RCTs that had suitably reliable evidence precluded generalisable conclusions about the efficacy of any particular homeopathic medicine or the impact of individualised homeopathic intervention on any given medical condition in animals.The Veterinary record 10/2014; 175(15):373-81. DOI:10.1136/vr.101767 · 1.63 Impact Factor