Nutritional Articles

Evaluation of Lactobacillus pentosus WE7 for prevention of diarrhea in neonatal foals.

Published: 2005-10-05

Brief content of the article
The authors evaluated the efficacy of Lactobacillus pentosus WE7, an equine-origin organism with potentially beneficial in vitro properties, as a probiotic for prevention of neonatal diarrhea in foals. In this study 153 foals were enrolled at 24 to 48 hours of age and were randomly designed to treatment or control groups. The treatment group received approximately 2 x 1011 CFU of freeze-dried L pentosus WE7 orally once daily for 7 days, whereas the control group received a placebo. Clinical monitoring was performed for 14 days. The authors concluded that administration of L. pentosus WE7 did not prevent diarrhea; rather, it was associated with development of diarrhea and, most importantly, development of diarrhea plus additional clinical abnormalities and the need for veterinary intervention. The promising in vitro properties of L. pentosus WE7 were not evident in vivo. The authors wrote that these results raise concern about the variety of untested probiotic products that are commercially available. The authors suggest that safety and efficacy testing needs to be performed for all potential equine probiotics. A full abstract can be found on Pubmed.
Keywords: Salmonella; probiotic; foals; foal-heat diarrhea; disease prevention.

Reference
Weese, J.S. and Rousseau, J. 2005. Evaluation of Lactobacillus pentosus WE7 for prevention of diarrhea in neonatal foals. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 226: 2031-2034.

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