Open Access Efficacy of Oral Fecal Bacteriotherapy in Rhesus Macaques (Macaca mulatta) with Chronic Diarrhea

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Abstract:

Chronic diarrhea remains the principal burden in providing health care for nonhuman primates in biomedical research facilities. Although the exact etiology continues to puzzle nonhuman primate clinicians, recent research in humans has shown that restoring the indigenous microbial diversity may be successful in resolving cases of chronic diarrhea when other treatment modalities have failed. The process of restoring this microbial balance, known as fecal bacteriotherapy, uses the complete flora from a normal donor as a therapeutic probiotic mixture. In the current study, Indian-origin rhesus macaques were randomized into treatment (n = 7) and control (n = 6) groups to determine whether orally administered fecal bacteriotherapy would reduce the overall incidence of chronic diarrhea during a 60-d follow-up period in the treatment group compared with control macaques, which received a placebo. Although the treatment effect, determined by comparing the baseline fecal scores of the treatment and control groups, did not reach statistical significance, preprocedure and postprocedure fecal scores in the treatment group differed significantly. These findings are encouraging, and we hope that our study will motivate larger studies evaluating the use of fecal bacteriotherapy in nonhuman primates.

Document Type: Case Report

Affiliations: 1: Office of Laboratory Animal Care, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California, USA. cferrecchia@berkeley.edu 2: Division of Comparative Medicine, Oregon National Primate Research Center, Oregon Health and Science University, Beaverton, Oregon, USA

Publication date: February 1, 2013

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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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