03162: Fecal Microbiota Transplantation for Treatment of Canine Atopic Dermatitis

Grant Status: Open

Grant Amount: $114,048
Ana Rostaher, DVM and Nina Maria Fischer, DVM; University of Zurich
July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2025

Sponsor(s): Affenpinscher Rescue of America

Breed(s): West Highland White Terrier
Research Program Area: Dermatology and Allergic Disease
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One Health: Yes


Atopic dermatitis is a common inflammatory and itchy skin disease, constituting a global issue that affects millions of people and dogs world-wide. The pathogenesis of this disease is known to be multifactorial and not only consisting of skin barrier dysfunction, but also with immunological dysregulation and skin microbiota changes playing a central role.In humans, establishment of the gut microbiota in early life influences the development of allergies such as atopic dermatitis in children.

In a recent small-scale study, the researchers could show that allergic dogs have a significantly different gut microbiota when compared to healthy dogs, making interventions targeting the gut microbiota very promising. Therefore, this study’s aim is to prove the preliminary findings in a larger population and test if fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is efficacious for treatment of canine atopic dermatitis in the West Highland White Terrier breed. If the researchers show that FMT, a yet novel etiological treatment approach, improves the clinical course of the disease, millions of dogs and their owners world-wide could benefit from this research. If the hypothesis is confirmed, the next logical step would be to test if FMT can even prevent disease development. That would represent an immense advantage for patients at risk, especially in breeds with the highest prevalence such as West Highland White Terriers.

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