Clinical trial of oral administration of Bifidobacterium longum in dogs with atopic dermatitis

  • Lee, Kang-Il (Laboratory of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, College of Veterinary Medicine, Chungbuk National University) ;
  • Yun, Taesik (Laboratory of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, College of Veterinary Medicine, Chungbuk National University) ;
  • Ham, Junsang (National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration) ;
  • Lee, Wan-Kyu (Laboratory of Veterinary Bacteriology and Infectious Diseases, College of Veterinary Medicine, Chungbuk National University) ;
  • Kang, Ji-Houn (Laboratory of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, College of Veterinary Medicine, Chungbuk National University) ;
  • Yang, Mhan-Pyo (Laboratory of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, College of Veterinary Medicine, Chungbuk National University) ;
  • Kang, Byeong-Teck (Laboratory of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, College of Veterinary Medicine, Chungbuk National University)
  • Received : 2019.09.18
  • Accepted : 2020.01.31
  • Published : 2020.03.31


This study assessed the effects of probiotics in canine atopic dermatitis (AD). We enrolled 11 client-owned dogs with AD and randomly allocated them to two groups. The probiotics group (n = 7) was prescribed with Bifidobacterium longum while the control group (n = 4) received a placebo powder once a day for 12 weeks. In both groups, the degree of skin lesions was evaluated based on the Canine Atopic Dermatitis Extent and Severity Index (CADESI)-4. We also measured the transepidermal water loss (TEWL). We assessed pruritus severity using the pruritus visual analog scale (PVAS). Alteration of consumed drug doses was converted into medication scores. All the evaluation indices were surveyed every 4 weeks. In the probiotics group, there was a significant decrease in the CADESI-4 score at 4, 8, and 12 weeks compared to that of the baseline score (p < 0.05). There was no significant difference in TEWL, PVAS, and medication score at each time point and between groups. Although these results showed that Bifidobacterium longum did not reduce pruritus, TEWL, and the dosage of drugs for canine AD, it was effective in improving skin lesions, therefore, probiotics could be considered in canine AD with severe skin symptoms.


Grant : Cooperative Research Program for Agriculture Science and Technology Development

Supported by : Rural Development Administration


  1. Halliwell R. Revised nomenclature for veterinary allergy. Vet Immunol Immunopathol 2006;114:207-208.
  2. Bizikova P, Pucheu-Haston CM, Eisenschenk MN, Marsella R, Nuttall T, Santoro D. Review: Role of genetics and the environment in the pathogenesis of canine atopic dermatitis. Vet Dermatol 2015;26:95-e26.
  3. Hillier A, Griffin CE. The ACVD task force on canine atopic dermatitis (I): incidence and prevalence. Vet Immunol Immunopathol 2001;81:147-151.
  4. Olivry T, DeBoer DJ, Favrot C, Jackson HA, Mueller RS, Nuttall T, Prelaud P; International Committee on Allergic Diseases of Animals. Treatment of canine atopic dermatitis: 2015 updated guidelines from the International Committee on Allergic Diseases of Animals (ICADA). BMC Vet Res 2015;11:210-224.
  5. Marsella R. Evaluation of Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain GG for the prevention of atopic dermatitis in dogs. Am J Vet Res 2009;70:735-740.
  6. Marsella R, Santoro D, Ahrens K. Early exposure to probiotics in a canine model of atopic dermatitis has long-term clinical and immunological effects. Vet Immunol Immunopathol 2012;146:185-189.
  7. Ohshima-Terada Y, Higuchi Y, Kumagai T, Hagihara A, Nagata M. Complementary effect of oral administration of Lactobacillus paracasei K71 on canine atopic dermatitis. Vet Dermatol 2015;26:350-353.
  8. Rosenfeldt V, Benfeldt E, Nielsen SD, Michaelsen KF, Jeppesen DL, Valerius NH, Paerregaard A. Effect of probiotic Lactobacillus strains in children with atopic dermatitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2003;111:389-395.
  9. Weston S, Halbert A, Richmond P, Prescott SL. Effects of probiotics on atopic dermatitis: a randomised controlled trial. Arch Dis Child 2005;90:892-897.
  10. Yoshida Y, Seki T, Matsunaka H, Watanabe T, Shindo M, Yamada N, Yamamoto O. Clinical effects of probiotic Bifidobacterium breve supplementation in adult patients with atopic dermatitis. Yonago Acta Med 2010;53:37-45.
  11. Craig JM. Atopic dermatitis and the intestinal microbiota in humans and dogs. Vet Med Sci 2016;2:95-105.
  12. Bjorksten B, Sepp E, Julge K, Voor T, Mikelsaar M. Allergy development and the intestinal microflora during the first year of life. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2001;108:516-520.
  13. Yamamoto K, Yokoyama K, Matsukawa T, Kato S, Kato S, Yamada K, Hirota T. Efficacy of prolonged ingestion of Lactobacillus acidophilus L-92 in adult patients with atopic dermatitis. J Dairy Sci 2016;99:5039-5046.
  14. Hensel P, Santoro D, Favrot C, Hill P, Griffin C. Canine atopic dermatitis: detailed guidelines for diagnosis and allergen identification. BMC Vet Res 2015;11:196.
  15. Olivry T, Saridomichelakis M, Nuttall T, Bensignor E, Griffin CE, Hill PB; International Committe on Allergic Diseases of Animals (ICADA). Validation of the Canine Atopic Dermatitis Extent and Severity Index (CADESI)-4, a simplified severity scale for assessing skin lesions of atopic dermatitis in dogs. Vet Dermatol 2014;25:77-85.
  16. Rybnicek J, Lau-Gillard PJ, Harvey R, Hill PB. Further validation of a pruritus severity scale for use in dogs. Vet Dermatol 2009;20:115-122.
  17. Huurre A, Laitinen K, Rautava S, Korkeamaki M, Isolauri E. Impact of maternal atopy and probiotic supplementation during pregnancy on infant sensitization: a double-blind placebocontrolled study. Clin Exp Allergy 2008;38:1342-1348.
  18. Kim HJ, Kim YJ, Kang MJ, Seo JH, Kim HY, Jeong SK, Lee SH, Kim JM, Hong SJ. A novel mouse model of atopic dermatitis with epicutaneous allergen sensitization and the effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus. Exp Dermatol 2012;21:672-675.
  19. Kim HJ, Kim HY, Lee SY, Seo JH, Lee E, Hong SJ. Clinical efficacy and mechanism of probiotics in allergic diseases. Korean J Pediatr 2013;56:369-376.
  20. Kim HJ, Kim YJ, Lee SH, Yu J, Jeong SK, Hong SJ. Effects of Lactobacillus rhamnosus on allergic march model by suppressing Th2, Th17, and TSLP responses via CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ Tregs. Clin Immunol 2014;153:178-186.
  21. Larsen N, Vogensen FK, Gobel R, Michaelsen KF, Abu Al-Soud W, Sorensen SJ, Hansen LH, Jakobsen M. Predominant genera of fecal microbiota in children with atopic dermatitis are not altered by intake of probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis Bi-07. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 2011;75:482-496.
  22. Furusawa Y, Obata Y, Fukuda S, Endo TA, Nakato G, Takahashi D, Nakanishi Y, Uetake C, Kato K, Kato T, Takahashi M, Fukuda NN, Murakami S, Miyauchi E, Hino S, Atarashi K, Onawa S, Fujimura Y, Lockett T, Clarke JM, Topping DL, Tomita M, Hori S, Ohara O, Morita T, Koseki H, Kikuchi J, Honda K, Hase K, Ohno H. Commensal microbe-derived butyrate induces the differentiation of colonic regulatory T cells. Nature 2013;504:446-450.
  23. Purchiaroni F, Tortora A, Gabrielli M, Bertucci F, Gigante G, Ianiro G, Ojetti V, Scarpellini E, Gasbarrini A. The role of intestinal microbiota and the immune system. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2013.17:323-333.
  24. Sekirov I, Russell SL, Antunes LC, Finlay BB. Gut microbiota in health and disease. Physiol Rev 2010;90:859-904.
  25. Suchodolski JS, Simpson K. Canine gastrointestinal microbiome in health and disease. Veterinary Focus 2013;23:22-28.
  26. Belkaid Y, Hand TW. Role of the microbiota in immunity and inflammation. Cell 2014;157:121-141.
  27. Bowe WP, Logan AC. Acne vulgaris, probiotics and the gutbrain-skin axis - back to the future? Gut Pathog 2011;3:1.
  28. Brouwer ML, Wolt-Plompen SA, Dubois AE, van der Heide S, Jansen DF, Hoijer MA, Kauffman HF, Duiverman EJ. No effects of probiotics on atopic dermatitis in infancy: a randomized placebo-controlled trial. Clin Exp Allergy 2006;36:899-906.
  29. Kopp MV, Hennemuth I, Heinzmann A, Urbanek R. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of probiotics for primary prevention: no clinical effects of Lactobacillus GG supplementation. Pediatrics 2008;121:e850-e856.
  30. Doron S, Snydman DR. Risk and safety of probiotics. Clin Infect Dis 2015;60 Suppl 2:S129-S134.