Page 570 - WSAVA2018
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 25-28 September, 2018 | Singapore
fermentum, gasseri, johnsonni, paracasei, plantarum, rhamnosus and salivarius).
In humans the beneficial dose is 1 x 109 colony forming units/serving or per day. The intended benefit is supporting a healthy gut microbiota, although this benefit is not well defined. Human disorders where
core effects may help include infectious diarrhoea, antibiotic-associated diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome, and ulcerative colitis. Mechanisms of action which may be wide spread among probiotics include resistance of pathogen colonization, competitive exclusion of pathogens, production of short chain fatty acids, regulation of intestinal transit, normalization of microbiota, and increased turnover of enterocytes. Core benefits from non-strain-specific microorganisms have not been described in veterinary patients, although there may be general benefits for the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and the microbiome.
The microbiome
The microbiome is composed of microbes in and on the body on a mucosal or skin surface and their environment and has been termed the second genome. It is a source of genetic diversity, a modifier of disease, an essential component of immunity, and influences metabolism and modulates drug interactions.
The GIT contains tens of trillions of microbes, outnumbering host cells by ten fold. Each individual has its own unique intestinal microbiome, with variation along the GIT. The density and diversity of species increase exponentially from the stomach to highest numbers
in the colon. The phyla Actinobacteria, Bacteroides, Bififobacteria, Firmicultes, Fusobacteria, and Proteobacteria comprise most of the organisms.
By fermenting fibre (e.g. in prebiotics), microbes produce short chain fatty acids (SCFA), including butyrate. Butyrate provides energy for colonocytes, affects the GIT barrier function, has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative potential, plays a regulatory role on transepithelial fluid transport, reinforces the epithelial defence barrier, modulates visceral sensitivity, intestinal motility, effects gene regulation, and has a role in the prevention and inhibition of human colorectal cancer.
Probiotics can induce microbiota changes in the large intestine, but these changes are usually minor, transient and dose dependent. High doses over prolonged periods of time are usually required to maintain viable counts of probiotic species. Lactobacillus spp increased from 1% to 2.5% of the total bacteria after administration of a multi-species probiotic containing several Lactobacillus spp. A mucosa-adherent probiotic may affect the microbiota more significantly; administration
of VSL#3 to mice resulted major changes in ileal microbiota.
Acute, antibiotic and stress related associated gastroenteritis
Several studies in dogs and cats with acute gastroenteritis or idiopathic diarrhoea with multi-species probiotic, Bifidobacterium animalis, Enterococcus (E) faceium SF68, or Lactobacillus acidophilus, sometimes used with a prebiotic or metronidazole, have shortened duration of diarrhea or decreased incidence of signs in at risk (rescue shelter) dogs or cats.
In cats given clindamycin, those also given a multi-strain synbiotic had better appetites and were more likely to have completed the treatment due to less vomiting. The yeast Saccharomyes boulardii shortened the duration of diarrhoea in dogs given lincomyin and prevented diarrhoea when given concurrently.
Enterococcus faecium SF68 may also have a benefit in puppies with parvovirus enteritis, and in stress related diarrhoea in sled dogs and in kennelled dogs
Chronic diarrhea
Dogs with chronic enteropathy (CE) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may have decreased intestinal microbial diversity (dysbiosis). Enterococcus faecium significantly increased the faecal bacterial richness and diversity of dogs with IBD, which became more similar to healthy dogs. Supplementation with Lactobacillus spp to dogs with food responsive diarrhoea showed beneficial effects on intestinal cytokines and microbiota, although the changes were not associated with the clinical response as the dogs had responded to a hydrolysed diet.
A probiotic containing multiple bacteria (VSL#3, now Vivomixx) given to 10 dogs with chronic IBD significantly decreased clinical scores, histological scores and CD3+ T-cell infiltration, and normalized dysbiosis.
There are fewer probiotic studies in cats with chronic diarrhoea. A synbiotic with seven microbial strains improved stool quality in cats with chronic diarrhea. Lactobacillus and E. faecium given to juvenile cheetahs increased body weight and improved faecal quality compared to a control group.
Other Potential Uses Dental Disease
Dental plaque, a microbial biofilm on the tooth surface,
is a main cause of dental pathology. A probiotic with Lactobacillus acidophilus LA-5 and Bifidobacteria bifidum BB-12 had in vitro bacteriocidal effects on pathogenic species from supragingival sites of dogs with dental disease. Topical L brevis CD2 in dogs reduced gingival inflammatory infiltrates.

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