Years ago, it was suggested that when the Cobalamin (B12) blood test was done, that the Folate level would indicate whether or not SID (then known as SIBO) was a concern. Over time, this method proved useless.
Until recently, there were only 3 ways to test for SID: Folate test results, Culturing and Counting bacterial numbers, and Duodenal juice collection. Unfortunately all 3 have majors flaws in their technique rendering them inaccurate confirmation of SID.
To date, the best way to assess SID is by symptoms and accompanying medical ailment, in this case EPI, and treat immediately for best results. Recent studies have determined that it is not the number of bacteria but rather the lack of bacterial diversity and the type of flora and/or how the host and flora interact that are more important than just numbers.
Currently, Texas A&M has developed the following and vets may order an assay done by contacting TAMU: http://vetmed.tamu.edu/gilab/service/assays/canine-microbiota-dysbiosis-index
Canine Microbiota Dysbiosis Index
The Dysbiosis Index (DI) is a rapid PCR based assay that quantifies the abundances of 8 bacterial groups and summarizes them in one single number. As a secondary interpretation, the individual microbial profile can predict normal or abnormal conversion of fecal bile acids (i.e., lack of conversion of primary to secondary bile acids). Both interpretations will be listed on the results form.
The gastrointestinal (GI) tract harbors a complex microbiota, which consists of bacteria, fungi, viruses and protozoa.
Molecular methods are now the standard techniques for assessing intestinal dysbiosis in dogs and cats with GI disease.
Loss of commensal microbiota is associated with decreased short chain fatty acids and bile acids.
Dysbiosis is a risk factor that may exacerbate inflammation in genetically susceptible dogs and cats.
Approximately 1 gram of feces (size of one grape) is needed. Samples must remain cold until receipt in the lab. Ship samples by overnight courier with frozen gel ice packs. Samples can be stored in the refrigerator over the weekend if you cannot ship by Thursday (lab personnel are not here on weekend to receive samples) Results will be reported within 2 days.
Diagnosis and interpretation of intestinal dysbiosis in dogs and cats.
The intestinal tracts of dogs and cats harbor a highly complex microbiota, which consists of bacteria, fungi, viruses and protozoa. Until recently, traditional bacterial culture was commonly used to identify bacteria present in the gastrointestinal tract, but it is now well recognized that standard plating techniques do not have enough resolution for identification of the mostly anaerobic bacteria that reside within the gut. Molecular methods are now established for assessing intestinal dysbiosis in dogs and cats with gastrointestinal disease, but these approaches are not yet widely available for routine diagnosis. The loss of normal commensal bacterial microbiota (i.e. Lachnospiraceae, Ruminococcaceae, and Faecalibacterium spp.) in acute and chronic intestinal diseases has been linked to metabolic changes, for example alterations in immunomodulatory bacterial metabolites, such as short chain fatty acids and secondary bile acids. This highlights the importance of dysbiosis in the pathophysiology of gastrointestinal diseases. Development of molecular based assays for specific bacterial groups, calculations of microbial dysbiosis indices and assays for microbial functional metabolites are currently underway to help assess dysbiosis. These will yield a better understanding of the pathophysiology of gastrointestinal diseases and may also lead to new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to dysbiosis.
Bile acids; Canine; Dysbiosis; Feline; Microbiome; Microbiota