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Efficacy of Saccharomyces boulardii for treatment of horses with acute enterocolitis

Anne M. Desrochers DMV, DACVIM1,2, Brett A. Dolente DVM, DACVIM3, Marie-France Roy DMV, DACVIM4, Raymond Boston BS, PhD5, and Sharon Carlisle BS6
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  • 1 Department of Clinical Studies, New Bolton Center campus, University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA 19348
  • | 2 Present address is Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center, 17690 Old Waterford Rd at Morven Park, PO Box 1938, Leesburg, VA 20177.
  • | 3 Department of Clinical Studies, New Bolton Center campus, University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA 19348
  • | 4 Center for the Study of Host Resistance, Department of Human Genetics, McGill University Health Center, Montreal, QC H3G 1A4, Canada.
  • | 5 Department of Biostatistics, New Bolton Center campus, University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA 19348.
  • | 6 Department of Microbiology, New Bolton Center campus, University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA 19348.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the viability of Saccharomyces boulardii after PO administration in clinically normal horses and its efficacy as a treatment for horses with acute enterocolitis.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—5 clinically normal horses and 14 horses with acute enterocolitis.

Procedure—Feces were collected from 5 clinically normal horses and submitted for microbial culture for 2 days prior to administration of a lyophilized form of S boulardii (25 or 50 g, PO, q 12 h) for 10 days. Feces were collected for microbial culture 5 and 10 days after treament initiation and 10 days after treatment was discontinued. Fourteen horses with acute enterocolitis were randomly allocated to receive a placebo or S boulardii (25 g), PO, every 12 hours for 14 days.

ResultsS boulardii was not detected in feces of clinically normal horses. After administration, yeast survived within the gastroinestinal tract but did not permanently colonize it. In horses with acute enterocolitis, the severity and duration of gastrointestinal tract disease during hospitalization were significantly decreased in horses receiving S boulardii, compared with horses receiving the placebo.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Administration of S boulardii may help decrease the severity and duration of clinical signs in horses with acute enterocolitis. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:954–959)