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Open Access Effects of the Macrolide Drug Tylosin on Chronic Diarrhea in Rhesus Macaques (Macaca mulatta)

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Diarrhea is the gastrointestinal disease most frequently encountered in captive rhesus macaques. The precise pathogenic mechanisms underlying chronic diarrhea in nonhuman primates are not well understood, but a persistent inflammatory component has been implicated strongly. This study evaluated the inflammatory changes in the colon of macaques with diarrhea and assessed the efficacy of a 10-d course of tylosin in a cohort of 21 animals with chronic diarrhea. Stool quality was evaluated daily, and fecal consistency was scored. Colonoscopies were performed; biopsy samples were characterized histologically and assayed for expression of TNFα mRNA. Blood samples collected pre-, mid-, and post-treatment were assayed for C-reactive protein (CRP). The results indicated that 63% of the animals receiving tylosin showed improvement in stool quality, compared with 10% in the sham-treated group. Histologically, 82% of animals in the tylosin-treated group had a reduction in the severity of colonic lesions post-treatment, compared with 40% of animals in the sham group. The amount of TNFα mRNA before treatment did not differ from that afterward in either tylosin- or sham-treated animals. CRP levels serially decreased in tylosin-treated monkeys; the average post-treatment CRP value for tylosin-treated animals was 11.96 ± 3.86 g/ml compared with 26.48 ± 4.86 g/ml for sham-treated controls. In conclusion, tylosin significantly improved the fecal consistency score, significantly decreased colonic inflammation, and significantly decreased serum CRP levels post-treatment in rhesus macaques with chronic diarrhea.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: California National Primate Research Center, University of California, Davis, CA, USA. [email protected]

Publication date: 2008-02-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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