This week on BBS! The well known probiotic VSL#3 takes a bite out of canine IBD, Lactobacilli hinder an influenza virus in mice, and new tools are available that improve fecal bacteria analysis.
VSL#3 for Canine IBD
VSL#3 is one of the most well researched probiotics supplements and is known to have to beneficial effects for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Pouchitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. To test if VSL#3 could be useful for canine IBD, Dr. Rossi Giacomo of the University of Camerino in Italy tested the preparation in pet dogs diagnosed with IBD. He found that VSL#3 performed similarly to standard IBD medications. Dogs treated with the probiotic had improvements in both clinical and immune paramaters. Although a larger study is warranted (only 10 dogs were tested per group), this study suggests that VSL#3 could be beneficial for canine IBD.
Flu Prevention for Mice
Probiotic administration may be effective at preventing airway infections. To determine if Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055 could be useful for the prevention of influenza, Dr. Yosuke Nakayama of the Hokkaido University in Japan, treated mice with the bacteria before exposing them to an influenza virus. The team found that L. gasseri SBT2055 lowered the virus numbers, weight loss and lung inflammation. Additionally, genes needed to fight viruses were increased. These results suggest that probiotics could have a future in flu prevention.
New Tools To Measure Poo Bacteria
The most standard method to determine the microbiota composition of fecal matter is to use polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques to investigate bacterial gene activity. Since the current techniques were not sufficient, Dr. Hye-Jin Ku of Kyung Hee University in South Korea optimized methods to improve DNA extraction and developed new PCR reagents. With these new tools, scientists can expect that their analyses of intestinal microbiota to cover more species with a greater resolution.
- Rossi G, Pengo G, Caldin M, Palumbo Piccionello A, Steiner JM, Cohen ND et al. Comparison of Microbiological, Histological, and Immunomodulatory Parameters in Response to Treatment with Either Combination Therapy with Prednisone and Metronidazole or Probiotic VSL#3 Strains in Dogs with Idiopathic Inflammatory Bowel Disease. PLoS One 2014; 9(4): e94699.
- Nakayama Y, Moriya T, Sakai F, Ikeda N, Shiozaki T, Hosoya T et al. Oral administration of Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055 is effective for preventing influenza in mice. Sci Rep 2014; 4: 4638.
- Ku HJ, Lee JH. Development of a Novel Long-Range 16S rRNA Universal Primer Set for Metagenomic Analysis of Gastrointestinal Microbiota in Newborn Infants. J Microbiol Biotechnol 2014.