Evaluating The Effect of a Macaque-Specific Probiotic on Prevention of Diarrhea, Chronic Stress Response and Social Interactions in a Colony of Macaca fascicularis



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Social housing changes can associate with diarrhea in macaques. Probiotics are utilized in human subjects to prevent and treat diarrhea. In this study, we evaluate the effectiveness of a species-specific probiotic known as SDPro™ on prevention of relocation-associated diarrhea in 120 juvenile macaques of both sexes and evaluate effects on gut microbiome composition. We compared microbiome composition between two groups to characterize effect of the probiotic on gut flora. SDPro™ administration caused changes in beta diversity but not in alpha diversity. Significant changes in taxa abundance at the phylum, genus and species level were noted in animals that received the probiotic compared to those that did not. The change in beta diversity from baseline to post-administration period showed a significant difference by group (p = .05). SDPro™ did not alter diarrhea incidence following relocation; however, there was a sex-based effect of probiotic administration on diarrhea severity, in that administration reduced diarrhea severity in males only. Social behaviors were monitored twice-weekly in the morning and afternoon for five weeks following a 10-day administration of SDPro™ in 56 subjects. Locomotion was lower in the afternoon, but this decrease was less with probiotics administration. No other behavioral effects were noted. Finally, the effect of SDPro™ on hair cortisol was assessed to determine if it mitigated chronic stress. While the probiotics did not alter cortisol levels, we found females had significantly lower cortisol levels than males.



Gut dysbiosis, Probiotics