PeerJ 2018 11;6:e4612. Epub 2018 Apr 11.
Division of Veterinary Medicine, Tulane National Primate Research Center, Covington, LA, United States of America.
Idiopathic chronic enterocolitis (ICE) is one of the most commonly encountered and difficult to manage diseases of captive rhesus macaques (). The etiology is not well understood, but perturbations in gut microbial communities have been implicated. Here we evaluated the effects of a 14-day course of vancomycin, neomycin, and fluconazole on animals affected with ICE, comparing treated, untreated, and healthy animals. We performed microbiome analysis on duodenal and colonic mucosal samples and feces in order to probe bacterial and/or fungal taxa potentially associated with ICE. All treated animals showed a significant and long-lasting improvement in stool consistency over time when compared to untreated and healthy controls. Microbiome analysis revealed trends associating bacterial community composition with ICE, particularly lineages of the Lactobacillaceae family. Sequencing of DNA from macaque food biscuits revealed that fungal sequences recovered from stool were dominated by yeast-derived food additives; in contrast, bacteria in stool appeared to be authentic gut residents. In conclusion, while validation in larger cohorts is needed, the treatment described here was associated with significantly improved clinical signs; results suggested possible correlates of microbiome structure with disease, though no strong associations were detected between single microbes and ICE.