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Saccharomyces boulardii viability and efficacy in horses with antimicrobial-induced diarrhoea
  1. A. G. Boyle, DVM, DACVIM1,4,
  2. K. G. Magdesian, DVM, DACVIM, DACVECC, DACVCP2,
  3. R. Gallop, PhD3,
  4. S. Sigdel, MS3 and
  5. M. M. Durando, DVM, DACVIM, PhD2,5
  1. William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA
  2. Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA
  3. Department of Mathematics, West Chester University, West Chester, PA 19383, USA
  4. Current address: Department of Clinical Studies, New Bolton Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 382 West Street Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348, USA
  5. Current address: Equine Sports Medicine Consultants, Landenberg, PA 19350, USA
  1. E-mail for correspondence: boylea{at}


Saccharomyces boulardii has been successfully used in the prevention and treatment of antimicrobial-associated diarrhoea in humans. We hypothesised that a viable, dried lyophilised preparation of S boulardii would survive in the gastrointestinal tract of horses with antimicrobial-associated enterocolitis, and significantly decrease the duration of diarrhoea. Twenty-one horses, over one year of age, with antimicrobial-associated diarrhoea of up to 72 hours duration, were consecutively randomised in a controlled prospective study. The treatment group received S boulardii (25 g, orally, every 12 hours) until the cessation of clinical signs. S boulardii was successfully cultured in 58.3 per cent of treatment horses on day 3. No statistically significant differences were found in days to return to normal faecal consistency; resolution of watery diarrhoea; return to normal heart rate, respiratory rate and temperature; resolution of leucopaenia; attitude improvement; appetite improvement; and survival at discharge. This is the first study to demonstrate survival of S boulardii in horses with gastrointestinal illness. Further study of the efficacy and safety of S boulardii in horses with antimicrobial-associated diarrhoea in a larger group is warranted.

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