Microbiome-Centric Interventions for Pet Health Conditions

Puppy and kitten

The gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) of the gastrointestinal tract represents almost 80% of the body’s entire immune system;1 this underscores the critical roles of the gastrointestinal tract and the microbiome in host immunity and defense.

A fine balance between active immunity and immune tolerance is necessary to maintain homeostasis, and disruptions of this balance may contribute to disease.1-4

barrier icon
grey banner

Putting microbiome science into practice for immunomodulation

gut arrow icon

Bovine colostrum bioactives boost gut microbiome balance in dogs

The science

Supplementing adult dogs’ diets with bovine colostrum bioactives led to greater microbial species diversity, indicating the dogs had stable microbiomes that were more resistant to challenge.5

faded navy background

Putting the science into practice

Feeding a canine diet supplemented with bovine colostrum bioactives may make the microbiome more resistant to infection.

injection dog icon

Bovine colostrum bioactives boost vaccine response in dogs

The science

Supplementation with bovine colostrum bioactives resulted in a significant increase in production of antigen-specific IgG in response to canine distemper vaccination as well as more sustained antibody levels, indicating an improved immune response to vaccination.5

faded navy background

Putting the science into practice

Bovine colostrum bioactives improve vaccination response in dogs.

injection kitten icon

Bovine colostrum bioactives boost vaccine response in kittens

The science

Kittens supplemented with bovine colostrum bioactives showed increased and sustained antibody response to the rabies vaccine.6

Putting the science into practice

Bovine colostrum bioactives improve vaccination response in kittens.

injection dog icon

Probiotic improves vaccine response in dogs

The science

The probiotic strain Enterococcus faecium SF68 enhanced IgA and IgG production as well as monocyte activation in growing dogs but did not induce overstimulation of the immune system.7,8

The probiotic strain E. faecium SF68 may increase priming of naïve B cells in response to initial canine distemper virus vaccination, which may enhance the effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing infection.7,8

faded navy background

Putting the science into practice

The probiotic E. faecium SF68 improves vaccine response and long-term immune functions in growing dogs without overstimulating the immune system.

cat magnifying icon

Probiotic may improve herpesvirus infection in cats

The science

Cats with latent herpesvirus infections showed significantly fewer observation points with conjunctivitis when supplemented with E. faecium SF68 as compared to cats in the placebo group.8,10

faded navy background

Putting the science into practice

The probiotic strain E. faecium SF68 may improve the clinical course of latent feline herpesvirus in cats.

respiratory tract disease

Probiotic reduces upper respiratory tract disease in shelter cats

The science

Shelter cats receiving Bacillus coagulans GBI-30 6086 (BC30) showed a numerical decrease in the number of days with clinical signs of upper respiratory tract disease.11

faded navy background

Putting the science into practice

The probiotic strain Bacillus coagulans GBI-30 6086 (BC30) may help reduce upper respiratory tract disease in shelter cats.

arrow injection icon

Paraprobiotics boost immune response to vaccination

The science

Some heat-killed strains of Lactobacillus species can produce immunomodulatory effects equal to live strains.12 A heat-treated blend of Lactobacillus fermentum and Lactobacillus delbrueckii increased fecal IgA antibody levels in response to rabies vaccination, indicating an enhanced immune response.11

faded navy background

Putting the science into practice

Effective paraprobiotics may provide immunomodulatory benefits despite the lack of live bacteria.

Explore other areas of the Microbiome Forum

microbiome fundamentals

Microbiome Fundamentals

nestle leadership

Nestlé and Purina Leadership in the Microbiome

Find out more

  1. Tizard, I. R. (2018). The microbiota regulates immunity and immunologic diseases in dogs and cats. Veterinary Clinics of North America Small Animal Practice. 48, 307–322. doi:10.1016/j.cvsm.2017.10.008
  2. Richards, P., Thornberry, N. A., & Pinto, S. (2021). The gut-brain axis: Identification of new therapeutic approaches for Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and related disorders. Molecular Metabolism, 46, 101175. doi:10.1016/j.molmet.2021.101175
  3. Pilla, R., & Suchodolski, J. S. (2021). The gut microbiome of dogs and cats, and the influence of diet. Veterinary Clinics of North America Small Animal Practice, (volume/issue), (pages). doi:10.1016/j.cvsm.2021.01.002
  4. Blake, A. B., & Suchodolski, J. S. (2016). Importance of gut microbiota for the health and disease of dogs and cats. Animal Frontiers, 6(3), 37–42. doi:10.2527/af.2016-0032
  5. Satyaraj, E., Reynolds, A., Pelker, R., Labuda, J., Zhang, P. & Sun, P. (2013). Supplementation of diets with bovine colostrum influences immune function in dogs. British Journal of Nutrition, 110, 2216–2221. doi:10.1017/S000711451300175X
  6. Jean-Philippe, C. Beneficial effects of dietary colostrum supplementation in kittens, Nestlé Purina Scientific Update of Feline Nutrition, Issue 4, 1–8.
  7. Benyacoub, J., Czarnecki-Maulden, G. L., Cavadini, C., Sauthier, T., Anderson, R. E., Schiffrin, E. J. & von der Weid, T. (2003). Supplementation of food with Enterococcus faecium (SF68) stimulates immune function in young dogs. Journal of Nutrition, 133, 1158–1162.
  8. Lappin, M. R., Coy, J., Hawley, J. & Dow, S. Effect of a commercially available probiotic on immune responses in healthy dogs. Presented at: American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine; June 8-10, 2017; National Harbor, Maryland. Abstract NM05 2016
  9. Veir, J. K., Knorr, R., Cavadini, C., Sherrill, S. J., Benyacoub, J., Satyaraj, E. & Lappin, M. R. (2007). Effect of supplementation with Enterococcus faecium (SF68) on immune function in cats. Veterinary Therapeutics, 8(4), 229–238.
  10. Lappin, M. R., Veir, J. K., Satyaraj, E. & Czarnecki-Maulden, G. (2009). Pilot study to evaluate the effect of oral supplementation of Enterococcus faecium SF68 on cats with latent herpesvirus 1. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 11(8), 650—654. doi:10.1016/j.jfms.2008.12.006
  11. Internal data, 2018
  12. Kataria, J., Li, N., Wynn, J. L., & Neu, J. (2009). Probiotic microbes: do they need to be alive to be beneficial? Nutrition Reviews, 67(9), 546–550. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00226.x