Faecal transplants could be useful in treating diarrhoea in horses – review

dung-manure-foleyPoo transplants, in which faecal samples with a healthy microbial balance are used to “seed” troubled intestines, may be useful in certain cases of diarrhoea and inflammatory bowel disease in horses, researchers suggest.

A review published online ahead of print in the Equine Veterinary Journal explores the current knowledge, proposed guidelines and future directions of equine faecal microbiota transplants.

Dr Katie Mullen and her colleagues said such transplants, while certainly not a novel concept, had recently garnered renewed interest in veterinary medicine due to their remarkable success in treating recurrent Clostridium difficile infection in humans.

However, there was a lack of information on its efficacy in treating gastrointestinal disorders in the horse and under what circumstances such transplants would be a suitable treatment, they said.

“However, based on evidence in man and other veterinary species, and anecdotal reports in horses, faecal microbiota transplants may be a useful treatment for selected cases of acute and chronic diarrhoea and inflammatory bowel disease in the horse,” they reported.

Their review, in the absence of evidence, offered expert opinion on case selection and procedures for the transplants.

“More research is needed to explore the efficacy, indications and optimal preparation, storage and delivery of faecal microbiota transplants to horses,” they said.

Equine faecal microbiota transplant: Current knowledge, proposed guidelines and future directions
K. R. Mullen, K. Yasuda, T. J. Divers and J. S. Weese.
DOI: 10.1111/eve.12559
The abstract can be read here

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