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May 01, 2020

Fecal transplant can repopulate healthy microbiome in horses with colitis

Published on April 15, 2020
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Bacterial DNA from the stool of horses with diarrhea that resolved after fecal microbial transplantation showed that the microbiota changed to more closely resemble the donor’s bacterial community, according to a study from the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.

The fecal microbiota of healthy donor horses and geriatric recipients undergoing fecal microbial transplantation for the treatment of diarrhea” was published March 10 in the online journal PLOS One. In the small study, five geriatric horses with diarrhea were treated with three consecutive daily fecal transplants from healthy donor horses.

By analyzing the bacterial DNA in the stool of the patients and donors, the researchers found that the microbiota in horses with colitis is very diverse among individuals and differs from the microbiome of healthy horses. Three of the five patients survived to discharge.

Drs. McKinney and Bedenice with equine subject
Drs. Caroline McKinney (left) and Daniela Bedenice, veterinarians at Tufts University, are part of a team investigating the effects of fecal transplant on the gut of horses being treated for diarrhea. (Photo by Alonso Nichols/Tufts University)