Evidence for Immune Modulation Induced by a Probiotic

Michael Lappin, DVM, PhD, DACVIM
Colorado State University



  • This presentation provided summaries of existing research supporting the immune-modulating effects of the probiotic E. faecium SF68, as well as preliminary results from ongoing research.
  • E. faecium SF68 probiotic supplementation of puppies enhanced immune response to canine distemper virus (CDV) vaccination, leading to better maintenance of antibody levels (Benyacoub et al., 2003).
  • A similar study investigating the effects of SF68 on response to vaccination showed a trend toward improved response, but the findings were not statistically significant (Veir et al., 2007).
  • E. faecium SF68 reduced viral shedding and appeared to less morbidity in cats with chronic feline herpesvirsus 1 (FHV-1) (Lappin et al., 2009).
  • Although E. faecium SF68 reduced trophozoite shedding of Giardia intestinalis-infected mice (Benyacoub et al., 2005), it did not significantly reduce cyst shedding in chronically infected dogs (Simpson et al., 2009).
  • E. faecium SF68 supplementation significantly lowered the rates of diarrhea in sheltered cats, but not dogs (Bybee et al., 2011).
  • Recent studies have suggested that E. faecium SF68 improved the clinical response to treatment of generalized demodecosis (publication pending).
  • Evidence gathered to date suggests that E. faecium SF68 has immune modulating effects in dogs and cats and may be effective as an aid in the management of select clinical disorders.



Michael Lappin, DVM, PhD, DACVIM- Colorado State University

Dr. Michael Lappin graduated with a veterinary degreefrom Oklahoma State University and then completed an internship, internal medicine residency and doctorate program in parasitology at the University of Georgia. He is the Kenneth W. Smith Professor in Small Animal Clinical Veterinary Medicine at Colorado State University, director of the Center for Companion Animal Studies, and helps direct the shelter medicine program. His principal areas of interest are the prevention of infectious diseases, the upper respiratory disease complex, infectious causes of fever,infectious causes of diarrhea, and zoonoses. Dr. Lappin’s research group has published over 300 primary papers or book chapters concerning small animal infectious diseases. His awards include the Norden Distinguished Teaching Award, the European Society of Feline Medicine International Award for Outstanding Contribution to Feline Medicine, the Winn Feline Research Award, the ACVIM Robert W. Kirk Award for Professional Excellence, and the WSAVA Scientific Achievement Award.