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Ziese, Anna-Lena; Suchodolski, Jan S.; Hartmann, Katrin; Busch, Kathrin; Anderson, Alexandra; Sarwar, Fatima; Sindern, Natalie; Unterer, Stefan (2018): Effect of probiotic treatment on the clinical course, intestinal microbiome, and toxigenic Clostridium perfringens in dogs with acute hemorrhagic diarrhea.
In: PLOS One 13(9), e0204691
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Abstract

Introduction The impact of probiotics on dogs with acute hemorrhagic diarrhea syndrome (AHDS) has not been evaluated so far. The study aim was to assess the effect of probiotic treatment on the clinical course, intestinal microbiome, and toxigenic Clostridium perfringens in dogs with AHDS in a prospective, placebo-controlled, blinded trial. Methods Twenty-five dogs with AHDS with no signs of sepsis were randomly divided into a probiotic (PRO;Visbiome, ExeGi Pharma) and placebo group (PLAC). Treatment was administered for 21 days without antibiotics. Clinical signs were evaluated daily from day 0 to day 8. Key bacterial taxa, C. perfringens encoding NetF toxin and enterotoxin were assessed on days 0, 7, 21. Results Both groups showed a rapid clinical improvement. In PRO a significant clinical recovery was observed on day 3 (p = 0.008), while in PLAC it was observed on day 4 (p = 0.002) compared to day 0. Abundance of Blautia (p<0.001) and Faecalibacterium (p = 0.035) was significantly higher in PRO on day 7 compared to day 0, while in PLAC the abundance of Faecalibacterium was not significantly higher on any study day and Blautia (p = 0.016) was only significantly higher on day 21 compared to day 0. Abundance of C. perfringens was significantly lower on day 7 (p = 0.011) compared to day 0 in PRO but not in PLAC. Enterotoxin genes were significantly lower in PRO on day 21 (p = 0.028) compared to PLAC. Fecal samples of 57% of all dogs were positive for netF toxin genes on day 0 and the abundance was significantly lower on day 7 compared to day 0 in PRO (p = 0.016) and PLAC (p = 0.031). Conclusion The probiotic treatment was associated with an accelerated normalization of the intestinal microbiome. Dogs with aseptic AHDS showed a rapid decrease of netF toxin genes and fast clinical recovery in both groups under symptomatic treatment without antibiotics.