OBJECTIVE To measure effects of oral Akkermansia muciniphila administration on systemic markers of gastrointestinal permeability and epithelial damage following antimicrobial administration in dogs. ANIMALS 8 healthy adult dogs. PROCEDURES Dogs were randomly assigned to receive either A muciniphila (109 cells/kg; n = 4) or vehicle (PBS solution; 4) for 6 days following metronidazole administration (12.5 mg/kg, PO, q 12 h for 7 d). After a 20-day washout period, the same dogs received the alternate treatment. After another washout period, experiments were repeated with amoxicillin-clavulanate (13.5 mg/kg, PO, q 12 h) instead of metronidazole. Fecal consistency was scored, a quantitative real-time PCR assay for A muciniphila in feces was performed, and plasma concentrations of cytokeratin-18, lipopolysaccharide, and glucagon-like peptides were measured by ELISA before (T0) and after (T1) antimicrobial administration and after administration of A muciniphila or vehicle (T2). RESULTS A muciniphila was detected in feces in 7 of 8 dogs after A muciniphila treatment at T2 (3/4 experiments) but not at T0 or T1. After metronidazole administration, mean change in plasma cytokeratin-18 concentration from T1 to T2 was significantly lower with vehicle than with A muciniphila treatment (–0.27 vs 2.4 ng/mL). Mean cytokeratin-18 concentration was lower at T1 than at T0 with amoxicillin-clavulanate. No other significant biomark-er concentration changes were detected. Probiotic administration was not associated with changes in fecal scores. No adverse effects were attributed to A muciniphila treatment. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Detection of A muciniphila in feces suggested successful gastrointestinal transit following oral supplementation in dogs. Plasma cytokeratin-18 alterations suggested an effect on gastrointestinal epithelium. Further study is needed to investigate effects in dogs with naturally occurring gastrointestinal disease.
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