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  • Author or Editor: Connie J. Gebhart x
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OBJECTIVE To culture Lactobacillus spp from veterinary probiotics and measure their in vitro oxalate-degrading capacity.

SAMPLE 2 commercial veterinary probiotics containing Lactobacillus spp.

PROCEDURES Lactobacillus spp were cultured anaerobically on selective deMan, Rogosa, Sharpe agar medium and subcultured for speciation by 16S rDNA gene sequencing. Isolates were inoculated into broth containing sodium oxalate (5 mg/L) and incubated anaerobically for 72 hours. An oxalate-degrading isolate of Lactobacillus acidophilus (American Type Culture Collection [ATCC] 53544) was the positive control sample; sterile broth containing a known quantity of sodium oxalate was the negative control sample. Oxalate concentrations were detected with ion chromatography. Oxalate degradation was assessed with Dunnett tests to detect differences in mean oxalate concentration for each isolate, compared with results for the negative control.

RESULTS Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, and Lactobacillus casei or Lactobacillus zeae (too closely related to differentiate) were isolated from probiotic 1, and L plantarum was isolated from probiotic 2. Sequencing of the 16S rDNA gene confirmed 100% homology to type species. Lactobacillus acidophilus (ATCC 53544) and L acidophilus from probiotic 1 significantly decreased oxalate concentrations by 85.3 and 161.9 mg/L, respectively. Lactobacillus plantarum from probiotics 1 and 2 significantly increased oxalate concentrations by 56.1 and 36.1 mg/L, respectively. Lactobacillus casei did not alter oxalate concentrations.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Lactobacillus acidophilus isolates significantly reduced oxalate concentrations. In vivo studies are needed to determine whether probiotics containing L acidophilus decrease urine oxalate concentrations and reduce risk of urolith recurrence in dogs with a history of calcium oxalate urolithiasis.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To assess the serial use of serum immunoperoxidase monolayer assays (IPMAs) and fecal PCR assays, combined with other diagnostic methods, to identify subclinical Lawsonia intracellularis infections for targeted treatment of Thoroughbred foals and weanlings at farms in which the pathogen was endemic or nonendemic.

Design—Evaluation study.

Animals—100 foals and weanlings (53 and 47 at farms in which L intracellularis was endemic and nonendemic, respectively).

Procedures—Serum was collected every 4 weeks and tested via IPMA, for antibodies against L intracellularis. Fecal samples were collected every 2 weeks and tested by use of an L intracellularis–specific PCR assay. When results for IPMAs or PCR assays were positive or clinical signs compatible with equine proliferative enteropathy (EPE) were detected, clinicopathologic testing was performed to determine treatment.

Results—No foals had positive results for the L intracellularis–specific IPMA until after weaning; 32 of 53 (60.4%) weanlings at the farm in which L intracellularis was endemic and 8 of 47 (170%) at the farm in which L intracellularis was nonendemic had positive IPMA results, whereas the number of weanlings that tested positive via fecal PCR assays at those farms was 6 and 0, respectively. Nineteen of 32 weanlings with positive IPMA results at the farm in which L intracellularis was endemic were treated for EPE; 5 of these had clinical signs of EPE. No weanlings at the nonendemic farm had clinical signs of or were treated for EPE.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—IPMA appeared to be a useful means of identifying weanlings exposed to L intracellularis.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine the efficacy of an avirulent Lawsonia intracellularis vaccine in preventing proliferative enteropathy in weanling foals.

Animals—12 healthy weanling foals.

Procedures—Foals were randomly assigned to a vaccinated, nonvaccinated, or control group. Vaccinated foals received an avirulent porcine L intracellularis frozen-thawed vaccine intrarectally 60 and 30 days prior to experimental challenge. On day 1, vaccinated and nonvaccinated foals were challenged via nasogastric intubation with a virulent heterologous isolate of L intracellularis. Control foals were not challenged. Clinical observation and ultrasonographic evaluation of the small intestine were performed, and body weight, serum concentration of total solids, fecal excretion of L intracellularis, and seroconversion were measured for each foal until day 56. Diseased foals were treated with antimicrobials and supportive care.

Results—None of the 4 vaccinated foals developed clinical disease following challenge with virulent L intracellularis. Three of 4 nonvaccinated foals developed moderate to severe clinical signs compatible with proliferative enteropathy, hypoproteinemia, and thickened small intestinal loops. Vaccinated foals had significantly less fecal shedding of L intracellularis than nonvaccinated foals. Serologic responses between vaccinated and nonvaccinated foals after challenge were similar. Control foals remained clinically unaffected with no evidence of fecal shedding and seroconversion.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Intrarectal administration of a commercial avirulent porcine vaccine against L intracellularis resulted in complete protection against proliferative enteropathy in the foals in this study and may also reduce environmental contamination with the organism on endemic farms.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research