Abstract # 126:

Scheduled for Friday, June 22, 2012 04:15 PM-04:30 PM: Session 20 (Camellia ) Oral Presentation


THE EFFECTS OF A SOLUBLE FIBER DIET ON RECURRENT DIARRHEA IN CAPTIVE RHESUS MACAQUES (MACACA MULATTA)

S. Howell, J. Sutherland, P. Morales and J. Wagner
Mannheimer Foundation, Inc., Haman Ranch, LaBelle, FL 33935, USA
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     Chronic diarrhea is a leading causes of morbidity and mortality among captive rhesus macaques. Administration of antibiotics is a common treatment for chronic diarrhea even though long-term use may be contraindicated; rhesus may be better served with alternative treatments that actively reduce gut inflammation without reducing gut bacteria and flora. We examined whether a soluble fiber diet resolves diarrhea without the use of antibiotics. Subjects included 16 juvenile (2 to 4 years of age) with a history of chronic diarrhea. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups: Standard Medical Treatment with antibiotics (MEDS; n = 8) or Diet Treatment without antibiotics (DIET; n = 8). The DIET group consumed a soluble fiber diet (primarily oatmeal; 120 Kcal/kg/day) for six weeks. Stool quality was assessed daily and weight was monitored weekly. Blood samples were collected upon hospitalization and prior to release to assess pre- and post-treatment levels of C-reactive protein, an inflammation marker. Results indicate that juvenile rhesus in the DIET group lost weight over time and had persistent diarrhea. Only one in eight rhesus consuming the diet was released from the hospital without medical intervention; the other seven had to be taken off the diet and treated medically to alleviate diarrhea. Pre-treatment levels of CRP were similar between the MEDS and DIET groups. However, post-treatment CRP levels were increased in the DIET group. Thus, we demonstrated that consumption of a soluble fiber diet alone does not alleviate diarrhea or reduce inflammation in rhesus macaques with chronic diarrhea.