National faecal matter transplant for dogs - Veterinary Practice
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National faecal matter transplant for dogs

The bank will provide veterinarians with a screened and sequenced product from donor dogs

Announcing an upcoming collaboration between Biome4Pets (Petbiome) and the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (Aberystwyth University) to establish a Canine National Faecal Matter Transplant Bank.

Using gene sequencing technology and a dataset of thousands of dogs sequenced from 2014-2024 profiled by health, diet and biome type, the bank will provide veterinarians with a screened and sequenced product from donor dogs, with a microbial community providing multiple necessary functions (energy, immunity, protection against pathogens).  

Scheduled to start in the Autumn of 2024, it will closely follow the protocols of the human faecal matter transplant bank screening for disease, pathogens and viruses to produce a filtered suspension of stool (0.6 g/ml) prepared from a healthy donor and stored at -80°C.

Faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is a relatively new therapeutic option for dogs with promising results for treating many gastrointestinal imbalances and dysbiosis, the treatment aims to restore intestinal microbial biodiversity in a non-pharmacological way.

As a novelty treatment, concerns have been raised about safety and the selection of donor dogs. Therefore, the main aim of the initial study will be to develop a robust selection and screening process.   

There is also a lack of information relating to the possible mechanisms of action during treatment, which will be examined as part of a follow-up, long-term study that will also investigate FMT for other conditions such as obesity and behaviour as well as the best methods of administration.

Effectiveness of FMT

It is known that a single FMT by enema has better long-term benefits compared to standard treatments with metronidazole for acute diarrhea with better stool consistency 4 weeks on. Its effectiveness can be accurately assessed using the Faecal Dysbiosis Index (FDI); FMT was able to stabilise the microbial population after 7 days and maintain a normal score, while dogs given antibiotics did not.

Carol Hughes of Biome4Pets (Petbiome) says, ‘’There has been a significant increase in requests for information relating to FMT in dogs, and using our database of over 10,000 dogs (established 2014), we aim to produce a high-quality, safe product.

As the intestinal microbiome is also a reservoir for AMR bacteria, we also want to explore the use of FMT to directly reduce antibiotic-resistant bacteria and post-antibiotic infections.’’

For further information and/or to join the project (donors/participants), please contact or visit the website.

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