02802: Clinical Trial of Prevotella histicola Supplementation to Ameliorate Meningoencephalomyelitis of Unknown Origin (MUO)

Grant Status: Open

Grant Amount: $40,180
Nick Jeffery, BVSc, PhD; Texas A&M University
March 1, 2020 - February 28, 2025

Sponsor(s): American Maltese Association

Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Neurology
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Meningoencephalomyelitis of unknown origin (MUO), also known by a number of other abbreviations such as MUE, MUA and, sometimes, GME (granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis), is the name given to a group of closely-related inflammatory diseases of the brain and spinal cord. These conditions are common, about 25% or more of the neurologic cases treated by veterinary neurologists, and are severe and often fatal. MUO is considered an ‘autoimmune’ disease, in which the immune system attacks part of the body, in this case the nervous system, resulting in neurologic signs including seizures, loss of balance and inability to walk steadily. Current treatment relies on immunosuppressive drugs, such as corticosteroids, cyclosporine, cytarabine, azathioprine and others, many of which have detrimental side effects. A large proportion of affected dogs will die despite treatment or suffer long-term neurologic impairments. MUO has striking similarities to multiple sclerosis in people and a disease called ‘EAE’ in rodents. It is now known that the immune system is regulated by bacteria in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. GI bacteria in people with multiple sclerosis, rodents with EAE and dogs with MUO are different from those in unaffected individuals. Recent evidence suggests altering bacteria in the GI tract of mice with EAE prevents or reduces severity of disease. In this study, the investigators will test whether giving an oral supplement of a specific harmless bacteria to dogs will reduce the severity of MUO. If successful, this could improve treatment to control disease and reduce reliance on immunosuppressive drugs.


None at this time.

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