Gut Microbiota and Growth and Health of Monogastric Farm Animals

A topical collection in Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This collection belongs to the section "Animal Physiology".

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Collection Editor
Department of Veterinary Science, University of Turin, Largo Paolo Braccini 2, 10095 Grugliasco, Italy
Interests: gut health evaluation; morpho-histology; immunohistochemistry; mucin evaluation; neuromuscular diseases; animal model; host/pathogens interactions in comparative medicine
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Collection Editor
Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italy
Interests: feeding of pigs; weaning; physiology; microbiology; immunity and health of the pig's digestive tract; nutrigenomics of the pig
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

Studies on human and mice microbiota have evidenced the relevance of a well-balanced and rapidly established microbiota community in the gut for the host health and well-being. Research has provided new methods and accessible database on microbiota genome annotation and functions. The settlement of the gut microbiota in monogastric farm animals is a complex succession of events denoted by a longitudinal progression in time (birth to adult) and space (proximal to distal). This is reciprocally regulated by a continuous talk with the host functional adaptation and response, starting from the mother environment, with a partial continuity towards any environmental change. There is urgent need of research on rules that dictate the interplay between the host and the microbiota in the context of environmental constrains, including, firstly, the diet. This could support new management and feeding strategies to face the new challenges imposed by raising costs, consumers’ demands, and safety of the final products and of the farm environment.

We invite original research papers that address improved methods for the study of the gut microbiota of monogastric farm animals, its progression during host life, and its adaptation to different segments of the digestive tracts. Also of interest are studies that introduce and test new methods to positively and rapidly manipulate the gut microbiota, assess its association with the efficiency of use of the diet by the animal and the impact on animal health and well-being, and unravel the mechanistic effects, including those related to the development of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue. Additional topics may include the effect of breed, genetic lines, and individuals on the gut microbiota of monogastric farm animals, also in light of the development of more tailored and precise farming practices for animals.

Note: Prof. Dr. Paolo Bosi served as academic editor from 2019.5 to 2023.9; Prof. Dr. Maria Teresa Capucchio served as academic editor since 2023.10.

Prof. Dr. Maria Teresa Capucchio
Prof. Dr. Paolo Bosi
Collection Editors

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Keywords

  • pig
  • poultry
  • rabbit
  • gut microbiota
  • beneficial microbes
  • prebiotic
  • mucosa-associated lymphatic tissue
  • gut physiology
  • antimicrobial
  • animal genome
 

Published Papers (23 papers)

2023

Jump to: 2022, 2020, 2019

13 pages, 2262 KiB  
Article
Seasonal Variations in Production Performance, Health Status, and Gut Microbiota of Meat Rabbit Reared in Semi-Confined Conditions
by Dingcheng Ye, Xiaoning Ding, Shuo Pang, Yating Gan, Zhechen Li, Qianfu Gan and Shaoming Fang
Animals 2024, 14(1), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14010113 - 28 Dec 2023
Viewed by 759
Abstract
In this study, we investigated the variations in production performance, health status, and gut microbiota of meat rabbits raised in the semi-confined barn during summer and winter. Compared to summer, rabbits reared in winter possessed significantly higher slaughter weight and carcass weight. Rabbits [...] Read more.
In this study, we investigated the variations in production performance, health status, and gut microbiota of meat rabbits raised in the semi-confined barn during summer and winter. Compared to summer, rabbits reared in winter possessed significantly higher slaughter weight and carcass weight. Rabbits fed in the summer were more vulnerable to different stressors, which led to increased protein levels of HSP90, IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-2, and concentrations of MDA, but declined GSH and SOD activities. Additionally, significant differences in gut microbial communities were observed. Compared to the winter, rabbits fed in the summer had significantly lower and higher alpha and beta diversity. Both Firmicutes and Verrucomicrobiota were the dominant phyla, and they accounted for greater proportions in the winter than in the summer. At lower microbial taxa levels, several seasonal differentially enriched microbes were identified, such as Akkermansia muciniphila, the Oscillospiraceae NK4A214 group, the Christensenellaceae R-7 group, Alistipes, and Muribaculaceae. Functional capacities linked to microbial proliferation, nutrient metabolism, and environmental adaptive responses exhibited significantly different abundances between summer and winter. Moreover, strong interactions among different indicators were presented. Based on our findings, we not only proposed several potential strategies to ameliorate the undesirable effects of seasonal changes on the productivity and health of meat rabbits but also underscored the directions for future mechanistic studies of adaptation physiology. Full article
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16 pages, 4045 KiB  
Article
Gut Microbiome Analysis and Screening of Lactic Acid Bacteria with Probiotic Potential in Anhui Swine
by Ying Shao, Xiaoyan Wu, Zhaorong Yu, Min Li, Tingting Sheng, Zhenyu Wang, Jian Tu, Xiangjun Song and Kezong Qi
Animals 2023, 13(24), 3812; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13243812 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1041
Abstract
With the widespread promotion of the green feeding concept of “substitution and resistance”, there is a pressing need for alternative products in feed and breeding industries. Employing lactic acid bacteria represents one of the most promising antimicrobial strategies to combat infections caused by [...] Read more.
With the widespread promotion of the green feeding concept of “substitution and resistance”, there is a pressing need for alternative products in feed and breeding industries. Employing lactic acid bacteria represents one of the most promising antimicrobial strategies to combat infections caused by pathogenic bacteria. As such, we analyzed the intestinal tract of Anhui local pig breeds, including LiuBai Pig, YueHei Pig, and HuoShou Pig, to determine the composition and diversity of intestinal microbiota using 16S rRNA. Further, the functionality of the pigs’ intestinal microbiota was studied through metagenomic sequencing. This study revealed that lactic acid bacteria were the primary contributors to the functional composition, as determined through a species functional contribution analysis. More specifically, the functional contribution of lactic acid bacteria in the HuoShou Pig group was higher than that of the LiuBai Pig and YueHei Pig. Subsequently, the intestinal contents of the HuoShou Pig group were selected for the screening of the dominant lactic acid bacteria strains. Out of eight strains of lactic acid bacteria, the acid-production capacity, growth curve, and tolerance to a simulated intestinal environment were assessed. Additional assessments included surface hydrophobicity, the self-aggregation capability, co-agglutination of lactic acid bacteria with pathogenic bacteria, and an in vitro bacteriostatic activity assay. Lactobacillus johnsonii L5 and Lactobacillus reuteri L8 were identified as having a strong overall performance. These findings serve as a theoretical basis for the further development of pig-derived probiotics, thereby promoting the application of lactic acid bacteria to livestock production. Full article
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10 pages, 265 KiB  
Article
Effects of Dietary Wheat Bran on Ileal and Hindgut Digestibility of Nutrient in Pigs and Influences of Ileal Digesta Collection on Proceeding Fecal Nutrient Digestibility
by Ah Reum Son, Jeonghyeon Son and Beob Gyun Kim
Animals 2023, 13(5), 799; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13050799 - 22 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1289
Abstract
The objectives were to determine the effects of graded inclusion rates of wheat bran (WB) on apparent ileal (AID), apparent total tract (ATTD), and hindgut digestibility of nutrients and tested the influence of ileal digesta collection on proceeding fecal nutrient digestibility in pigs. [...] Read more.
The objectives were to determine the effects of graded inclusion rates of wheat bran (WB) on apparent ileal (AID), apparent total tract (ATTD), and hindgut digestibility of nutrients and tested the influence of ileal digesta collection on proceeding fecal nutrient digestibility in pigs. Six barrows with an initial mean body weight of 70.7 ± 5.7 kg fitted with an ileal T-cannula were used. The animals were assigned to a replicated 3 × 3 Latin square design with three diets and three periods. A basal diet was based mainly on wheat, soybean meal, and cornstarch. Two additional diets were formulated to contain 20 or 40% of WB at the expense of cornstarch. Each experimental period consisted of a seven-day adaptation period and a four-day collection period. After the adaptation period, fecal samples were collected on day 8, and ileal digesta were collected on days 9 and 10. Another set of fecal samples was collected on day 11 to determine the influence of ileal digesta collection on proceeding total tract nutrient digestibility. The AID of energy, dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM), crude protein, and phosphorus linearly decreased (p < 0.05) with an increasing inclusion rate of WB from 0 to 40%. The ATTD of energy, DM, OM, crude protein, ether extract, and phosphorus linearly decreased (p < 0.01) as the inclusion rate of WB increased. Hindgut digestibility of DM, OM, and ether extract linearly increased (p < 0.05) with an increasing inclusion rate of WB. The ATTD of GE and most nutrients did not differ between the two fecal collection periods of before and after ileal digesta collection. Taken together, the inclusion of a fiber-rich ingredient reduced ileal and fecal digestibility of nutrients but increased hindgut digestibility of some nutrients, and total tract digestibility of nutrients did not differ whether the fecal samples were collected before or after two days of ileal digesta collection in pigs. Full article

2022

Jump to: 2023, 2020, 2019

16 pages, 783 KiB  
Article
Effects of Dietary Supplementation of Lactobacillus acidophilus on Blood Parameters and Gut Health of Rabbits
by Elena Colombino, Ilaria Biasato, Alberta Michetti, Maria Gabriella Rubino, Irene Franciosa, Marzia Giribaldi, Sara Antoniazzi, Stefania Bergagna, Giulia Paliasso, Ilario Ferrocino, Laura Cavallarin, Laura Gasco and Maria Teresa Capucchio
Animals 2022, 12(24), 3543; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12243543 - 15 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1902
Abstract
This study aimed to evaluate the effects of Lactobacillus acidophilus D2/CSL (L-1 × 109 cfu/kg feed/day) on biochemical parameters, faecal score (FS), cecal pH, gut morphometry, microbiota and cecal short-chain fatty acid (SCFAs) in rabbits. Three zootechnical trials were performed and in [...] Read more.
This study aimed to evaluate the effects of Lactobacillus acidophilus D2/CSL (L-1 × 109 cfu/kg feed/day) on biochemical parameters, faecal score (FS), cecal pH, gut morphometry, microbiota and cecal short-chain fatty acid (SCFAs) in rabbits. Three zootechnical trials were performed and in each trial 30 rabbits were allotted to two groups; a probiotic group (L) and a control group (C). At slaughter (day 45), samples of blood, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, liver and spleen were collected and submitted to histomorphometric analyses. Blood biochemical analyses, cecal microbiota and SCFAs determination were also performed. In trial 1 and 3, L. acidophilus D2/CSL did not affect productive parameters (p > 0.05). However, L group of trial 1 showed a lower morbidity and mortality compared to the control. In trial 2, C group showed a higher daily feed intake (p = 0.018) and a positive statistical tendency for live weight and average daily gain (p = 0.068). On the contrary, albumin was higher and ALFA-1 globulin was lower in the C group compared to L (p < 0.05). In all the trials, FS, cecal pH, histomorphometry, microbiota and SCFAs were unaffected. In conclusion, L. acidophilus D2/CSL did not impair growth performances, gut and rabbit’s health, reducing morbidity and mortality. Full article
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13 pages, 286 KiB  
Article
Effect of Fermented Rapeseed Meal in Diets for Piglets on Blood Biochemical Parameters and the Microbial Composition of the Feed and Faeces
by Łukasz Wlazło, Bożena Nowakowicz-Dębek, Mateusz Ossowski, Marcin Łukaszewicz and Anna Czech
Animals 2022, 12(21), 2972; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12212972 - 28 Oct 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1453
Abstract
The study assessed the influence of rapeseed meal (RSM) fermented using Bacillus subtilis 87Y on the feed microbiota, intestinal microbiota, blood biochemical parameters, and content of minerals in the blood plasma and faeces of piglets. Modulation of the microbial composition of feed containing [...] Read more.
The study assessed the influence of rapeseed meal (RSM) fermented using Bacillus subtilis 87Y on the feed microbiota, intestinal microbiota, blood biochemical parameters, and content of minerals in the blood plasma and faeces of piglets. Modulation of the microbial composition of feed containing fermented rapeseed meal (FRSM) and of the faeces of pigs consuming it was observed. There was a significant increase in the number of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and a decrease in the total number of coliforms and Clostridium perfringens in the faeces of animals from the experimental groups. FRSM in the diet of piglets was shown to improve the mineral balance by increasing the levels of P, Ca, and Mg in the blood plasma and reducing their amount in the faeces. A beneficial effect on parameters of protein and lipid metabolism was also noted, resulting in an increase in the levels of total protein (TP) and albumins (ALB) and a reduction in triacylglycerols (TG) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the blood plasma of the piglets. The research results indicate that the presence of FRSM in the diet of weaners can be a preventive factor in intestinal dysbiosis and support the maintenance of homeostasis. Full article

2020

Jump to: 2023, 2022, 2019

16 pages, 3064 KiB  
Article
Color of Colon Content of Normal and Intrauterine Growth-Restricted Weaned Piglets Is Associated with Specific Microbial Taxa and Physiological Parameters
by Maria Wiese, Yan Hui, Dennis S. Nielsen, Andrew R. Williams, Julie C. Lynegaard, Nicolai R. Weber and Charlotte Amdi
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1073; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061073 - 22 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3419
Abstract
A well-balanced gut microbiome is associated with improved health outcomes, but to date, the GM of IUGR piglets have only been sparsely investigated. Here, we investigated GM composition, color of colon content, and blood parameters of 20 IUGR and 20 normal 24-day-old piglets. [...] Read more.
A well-balanced gut microbiome is associated with improved health outcomes, but to date, the GM of IUGR piglets have only been sparsely investigated. Here, we investigated GM composition, color of colon content, and blood parameters of 20 IUGR and 20 normal 24-day-old piglets. No significant differences were detected in colon microbiota composition between IUGR and the normal piglets with respect to alpha and beta diversity measures. The colon content of these piglets displayed three colors: brown, black, and yellow. Interestingly, the color of the colon content varied with microbial community composition, with significant differences in the relative abundance of taxa belonging to Fusobacteria and Treponema. Fusobacteria were most abundant in yellow fecal samples, with a mean relative abundance around 5.6%, whereas this was 0.51% within brown and 0.02% for the black fecal samples. Fusobacteria positively correlated with total blood protein, albumin, and triglycerides. Contrarily, Treponema was at 0.9% the most abundant in black fecal samples, while present at 0.1% of relative abundance in brown fecal samples and 0.01% in yellow samples, correlating positively with blood iron content. This study indicates that colon/fecal content color can be used as indicator for specific GM and metabolite signatures. Full article
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20 pages, 283 KiB  
Review
A Review of the Effect of Formic Acid and Its Salts on the Gastrointestinal Microbiota and Performance of Pigs
by Diana Luise, Federico Correa, Paolo Bosi and Paolo Trevisi
Animals 2020, 10(5), 887; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10050887 - 19 May 2020
Cited by 40 | Viewed by 6334
Abstract
Out of the alternatives to antibiotics and zinc oxide, organic acids, or simply acidifiers, play significant roles, especially in ensuring gut health and the growth performance of pigs. Regarding acidifiers, formic acid and its salts have shown very promising results in weaning, growing [...] Read more.
Out of the alternatives to antibiotics and zinc oxide, organic acids, or simply acidifiers, play significant roles, especially in ensuring gut health and the growth performance of pigs. Regarding acidifiers, formic acid and its salts have shown very promising results in weaning, growing and finishing pigs. Although it is known that the main mechanisms by which acidifiers can improve livestock performance and health are related to the regulation of gastrointestinal pH, an improvement in intestinal digestibility and mineral utilization, and their antimicrobial properties against specific pathogens has been observed, while poor consensus remains in relation to the effect of acidifers on bacteria and the complex microbiome. Therefore, the aim of the present review was to critically evaluate the effects of formic acid and its salts on the performance and the gastrointestinal microbiota balance of pigs. Full article
14 pages, 935 KiB  
Article
Early-Life Intake of an Isotonic Protein Drink Improves the Gut Microbial Profile of Piglets
by Stefan G. Buzoianu, Ava M. Firth, CallaBria Putrino and Fabio Vannucci
Animals 2020, 10(5), 879; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10050879 - 18 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3393
Abstract
A healthy microbial community in the gut of piglets is critical to minimize the negative performance consequences associated with dietary and environmental changes that occur at weaning. Tonisity Px, an isotonic protein drink, is a potential alternative to balance the gut microbiota as [...] Read more.
A healthy microbial community in the gut of piglets is critical to minimize the negative performance consequences associated with dietary and environmental changes that occur at weaning. Tonisity Px, an isotonic protein drink, is a potential alternative to balance the gut microbiota as it contains key ingredients for nourishing the small intestine. In the present study, 16 litters comprising 161 piglets were randomly allocated to a group to which Tonisity Px was provided from days 2 to 8 of age (TPX group) or to a control group, to which no Tonisity Px was provided. The TPX group also received Tonisity Px in the 3 days before and after weaning. At days 9, 17, and 30 of age, fecal and ileum samples were collected from piglets belonging to both groups and analyzed using 16S rRNA gene sequencing, semiquantitative PCR of Rotavirus serogroups, and semiquantitative Escherichia coli culture. Overall, Tonisity Px increased the abundance of beneficial bacterial populations (Lactobacillus and Bacteroides species) and reduced potentially pathogenic bacterial populations (E. coli and Prevotellaceae), in both the pre-weaning and post-weaning periods. Full article
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13 pages, 514 KiB  
Article
Transport to the Slaughterhouse Affects the Salmonella Shedding and Modifies the Fecal Microbiota of Finishing Pigs
by Francesca Romana Massacci, Alessandra Morelli, Lucilla Cucco, Adrien Castinel, Roberta Ortenzi, Silvia Tofani, Giovanni Pezzotti, Jordi Estellé, Marta Paniccià and Chiara Francesca Magistrali
Animals 2020, 10(4), 676; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040676 - 13 Apr 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3097
Abstract
Contaminated pork is a significant source of foodborne Salmonellosis. Pork is contaminated at the slaughterhouse and the intestinal content is the predominant source of Salmonella for carcass contamination. The prevalence of Salmonella-positive pigs increases significantly when the time of transport to the [...] Read more.
Contaminated pork is a significant source of foodborne Salmonellosis. Pork is contaminated at the slaughterhouse and the intestinal content is the predominant source of Salmonella for carcass contamination. The prevalence of Salmonella-positive pigs increases significantly when the time of transport to the slaughterhouse is longer than two hours. The hypothesis behind this study is that transport to the slaughterhouse increases the load of Salmonella in feces and determines a shift of the fecal microbiota in finishing pigs. Fecal samples were collected in a pig herd positive for Salmonella spp., the day before the transport and at the slaughterhouse. Salmonella loads were estimated by the most probable number (MPN) technique, according to the ISO/TS 6579-2:2012/A1. Moreover, the fecal bacteria composition was assessed by sequencing the V3-V4 hypervariable regions of the 16S rRNA gene. Our study showed that the load of Salmonella increases after transport, confirming that this phase of the production chain is a critical point for the control of Salmonella contamination. A lower richness and an increased beta-diversity characterized the fecal microbiota composition of Salmonella-positive animals after transport. In this stage, a natural Salmonella infection causes a disruption of the fecal microbiota as observed in challenge studies. Full article
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10 pages, 239 KiB  
Article
Redox Status, Biochemical Parameters and Mineral Elements Content in Blood of Turkey Hens Fed a Diet Supplemented with Yarrowia lipolytica Yeast and Two Bacillus Species
by Anna Czech, Malwina Merska-Kazanowska and Zuzanna Całyniuk
Animals 2020, 10(3), 459; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10030459 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2459
Abstract
The probiotic-prebiotic properties and chemical composition of Yarrowia lipolytica yeast (YL), predisposes it for use as a turkey feed additive. The aim of the study was to determine whether YL in the diet of turkeys would exert more beneficial effect by stimulating antioxidant [...] Read more.
The probiotic-prebiotic properties and chemical composition of Yarrowia lipolytica yeast (YL), predisposes it for use as a turkey feed additive. The aim of the study was to determine whether YL in the diet of turkeys would exert more beneficial effect by stimulating antioxidant reactions and increasing mineral availability than Saccharomyces cerevisiae (SC). An additional aim of the study was to test whether the addition of a probiotic bacteria to feed containing Yarrowia lipolytica or Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast would enhance their effect. The study was conducted on turkeys from seven to 112 days of age to determine the effects of a 3% addition of YL to the diet, as an alternative to the standard SC. It was analysed whether the use of a probiotic (Bacillus licheniformis, Bacillus subtilis) together with yeast would be more effective. Both the yeast (YL or SC) and the probiotic stimulated antioxidant mechanisms (increased CAT; reduced MDA), but the addition of SC was less effective. The inclusion of YL in the feed increased the plasma content of Ca, Mg, Cu, Zn and Fe in the blood turkeys and lowered the content of cholesterol and triacylglycerols. The combined use of yeast (YL or SC) with a probiotic enhances the antioxidant effect while inhibiting of lipid peroxidation. The combined use of yeast with a probiotic can be recommended in cases of stimulation of oxidative reactions (e.g., stress or infection) Full article
21 pages, 966 KiB  
Article
Effects of Thymol and Thymol α-D-Glucopyranoside on Intestinal Function and Microbiota of Weaned Pigs
by Noémie Van Noten, Jeroen Degroote, Elout Van Liefferinge, Bernard Taminiau, Stefaan De Smet, Tom Desmet and Joris Michiels
Animals 2020, 10(2), 329; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020329 - 19 Feb 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3209
Abstract
The present study evaluated gluco-conjugation as a measure to delay thymol absorption and enhance its antimicrobial activity in the gut of weaned piglets. The three dietary treatments consisted of a basal diet without additives (TCON), supplemented with thymol at 3.7 mmol/kg [...] Read more.
The present study evaluated gluco-conjugation as a measure to delay thymol absorption and enhance its antimicrobial activity in the gut of weaned piglets. The three dietary treatments consisted of a basal diet without additives (TCON), supplemented with thymol at 3.7 mmol/kg dry matter (TTHY), or with an equimolar amount of thymol α-D-glucopyranoside (TTαG). Each dietary treatment was replicated in 6 pens with 2 piglets per pen (n = 12 for analytical parameters) and was supplemented for 14 days. The total (free plus gluco-conjugated) thymol concentrations in the stomach contents were 14% lower in TTαG as compared to TTHY piglets. Neither of the additives could be detected further down the gut. E.coli counts in the proximal small intestine were significantly lower in TTHY than in TTαG pigs (3.35 vs. 4.29 log10 CFU/g); however, other bacterial counts and their metabolites were unaffected by treatment. A metagenomic bacterial analysis revealed a great relative abundance of Lactobacillus spp. in the distal small intestine (range 88.4–99.9%), irrespective of treatment. The intestinal barrier function was improved by TTHY, but not TTαG, compared to TCON. In conclusion, gluco-conjugation did not result in higher thymol concentrations in the gut, but conversely, it seemed to diminish the biological effects of thymol in vivo. Full article
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30 pages, 6163 KiB  
Article
Targeted-Release Organic Acids and Essential Oils Improve Performance and Digestive Function in Broilers under a Necrotic Enteritis Challenge
by Nedra Abdelli, José Francisco Pérez, Ester Vilarrasa, Irene Cabeza Luna, Diego Melo-Duran, Matilde D’Angelo and David Solà-Oriol
Animals 2020, 10(2), 259; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020259 - 06 Feb 2020
Cited by 39 | Viewed by 4946
Abstract
An experiment was performed to evaluate the effect of four different microencapsulated blends of organic acids (OA) and nature-identical aromatic compounds (AC) on growth performance and gut health of broilers challenged with a recycled NE litter. A total of 600 one-day-old male Ross [...] Read more.
An experiment was performed to evaluate the effect of four different microencapsulated blends of organic acids (OA) and nature-identical aromatic compounds (AC) on growth performance and gut health of broilers challenged with a recycled NE litter. A total of 600 one-day-old male Ross 308 broilers were randomly assigned to five treatments consisting of a basal diet (as negative control) supplemented with each of the tested microencapsulated blends: OA1 (malic and fumaric acid) + AC; 2.5 g/kg; OA2 (calcium butyrate+fumaric acid) + AC; 1.7 g/kg; MCFA (capric-caprylic; caproic and lauric acid) + AC; 2 g/kg; and MCFA + OA3 (calcium butyrate+fumaric and citric acid) + AC; 1.5 g/kg. The AC used was the same for all treatments; including cinnamaldehyde, carvacrol, and thymol (8:1:1), as major compounds. Three tested blends enhanced growth performance by improving intestinal histomorphology (p < 0.001). The tested blends enhanced the abundance of some beneficial families such as Ruminococcaceae and Lachnospiraceae; while reducing that of harmful ones such as Enterobacteriaceae and Helicobacteraceae. A further dose-response experiment showed that 0.5 g/kg of the blend 2 and 2 g/kg of the blend 4 improved growth performance and intestinal histomorphology of chickens on d 42 and decreased fecal Enterobacteriaceae and C. perfringens counts. Similar effects to the previous experiment were observed for cecum microbiota. Full article
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20 pages, 824 KiB  
Article
Applicability of an Unmedicated Feeding Program Aimed to Reduce the Use of Antimicrobials in Nursery Piglets: Impact on Performance and Fecal Microbiota
by Paola López-Colom, Jordi Estellé, Jordi Bonet, Jaume Coma and Susana Ma. Martín-Orúe
Animals 2020, 10(2), 242; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020242 - 03 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3415
Abstract
This study aimed to assess the impact of two different feeding programs, including or not antimicrobials, on gut microbiota development at early ages in commercial pigs. For this, 21-day-old weaned piglets were distributed into 12 pens (6 replicates with 26 pigs each) and [...] Read more.
This study aimed to assess the impact of two different feeding programs, including or not antimicrobials, on gut microbiota development at early ages in commercial pigs. For this, 21-day-old weaned piglets were distributed into 12 pens (6 replicates with 26 pigs each) and fed ad libitum until fattening with: standard commercial formula with antibiotics and zinc oxide (2400 ppm) (AB), and alternative unmedicated feed formula (UN). Subsequently, the animals were moved to the fattening unit (F) receiving a common diet. Pigs were weighed, and feed consumption and diarrhea scores registered. Feces were collected on days 9 (pre-starter), 40 (starter) and 72 (fattening) post-weaning and microbial DNA extracted for 16S rDNA sequencing. Piglets fed UN diets had a worse feed efficiency (p < 0.05) than AB during nursery; however, UN pigs spent less time scouring after weaning (p = 0.098). The structure of fecal community evolved with the age of the animals (p = 0.001), and diet also showed to have a role, particularly in the starter period when UN microbiomes clustered apart from AB, resembling the ecosystems found in the fattening animals. Fibrolytic genera (Fibrobacter, Butyrivibrio, Christellansellaceae) were enriched in UN piglets whereas Lactobacillus characterized AB piglets (adjusted p < 0.05). Overall, this alternative feeding program could anticipate the gut development of piglets despite a lower feed efficiency compared to standard medicalized programs. Full article
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20 pages, 2006 KiB  
Review
Composition and Function of Chicken Gut Microbiota
by Ivan Rychlik
Animals 2020, 10(1), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010103 - 08 Jan 2020
Cited by 184 | Viewed by 14179
Abstract
Studies analyzing the composition of gut microbiota are quite common at present, mainly due to the rapid development of DNA sequencing technologies within the last decade. This is valid also for chickens and their gut microbiota. However, chickens represent a specific model for [...] Read more.
Studies analyzing the composition of gut microbiota are quite common at present, mainly due to the rapid development of DNA sequencing technologies within the last decade. This is valid also for chickens and their gut microbiota. However, chickens represent a specific model for host–microbiota interactions since contact between parents and offspring has been completely interrupted in domesticated chickens. Nearly all studies describe microbiota of chicks from hatcheries and these chickens are considered as references and controls. In reality, such chickens represent an extreme experimental group since control chicks should be, by nature, hatched in nests in contact with the parent hen. Not properly realising this fact and utilising only 16S rRNA sequencing results means that many conclusions are of questionable biological relevance. The specifics of chicken-related gut microbiota are therefore stressed in this review together with current knowledge of the biological role of selected microbiota members. These microbiota members are then evaluated for their intended use as a form of next-generation probiotics. Full article
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2019

Jump to: 2023, 2022, 2020

16 pages, 2245 KiB  
Article
Early Parenteral Administration of Ceftiofur has Gender-Specific Short- and Long-Term Effects on the Fecal Microbiota and Growth in Pigs from the Suckling to Growing Phase
by Ursula Ruczizka, Barbara Metzler-Zebeli, Christine Unterweger, Evelyne Mann, Lukas Schwarz, Christian Knecht and Isabel Hennig-Pauka
Animals 2020, 10(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010017 - 20 Dec 2019
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 3029
Abstract
Using ceftiofur during the first days of life is a common preventative strategy against several bacterial diseases in pig production. This study aimed to evaluate short- and long-term effects of early use of ceftiofur on the fecal microbiota development in suckling and growing [...] Read more.
Using ceftiofur during the first days of life is a common preventative strategy against several bacterial diseases in pig production. This study aimed to evaluate short- and long-term effects of early use of ceftiofur on the fecal microbiota development in suckling and growing pigs. Sixty-four piglets from eight litters were assigned to the antibiotic (AB; n = 32) or control group (control; n = 32). Twelve hours postpartum (day 0) AB piglets received an intramuscular injection of ceftiofur (5.0 mg/kg body weight) or a placebo. DNA was extracted from fecal samples collected on days 0, 12, 28, and 97 for deep-sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. The AB administration disturbed the maturational changes in the fecal microbiome, whereby effects were sex-specific. Sex-related differences in AB metabolism in females and males may have caused these diverging AB-effects on the fecal microbiota. Especially the loss of bacterial diversity and of certain taxa in female AB pigs may have contributed to the decreased body weight of these females on day 97 of life. Taken together, this study showed that an AB injection with ceftiofur 12 h postpartum markedly affected the successional changes in the fecal microbiota composition in male and female pigs, with long-term consequences for host performance. Full article
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15 pages, 2959 KiB  
Article
Bacillus licheniformis-Fermented Products Reduce Diarrhea Incidence and Alter the Fecal Microbiota Community in Weaning Piglets
by De-Yu Hung, Yeong-Hsiang Cheng, Wei-Jung Chen, Kuo-Feng Hua, Arkadiusz Pietruszka, Andrzej Dybus, Chuan-Shun Lin and Yu-Hsiang Yu
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1145; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121145 - 13 Dec 2019
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 3922
Abstract
Prophylactic use of antibiotics in-feed has been effective in decreasing the incidence of diarrhea in weaning piglets. However, the overuse of antibiotics as prophylactic or therapeutic agents in animal feed leads to the evolution of drug-resistant bacteria and antibiotic residues in pigs. This [...] Read more.
Prophylactic use of antibiotics in-feed has been effective in decreasing the incidence of diarrhea in weaning piglets. However, the overuse of antibiotics as prophylactic or therapeutic agents in animal feed leads to the evolution of drug-resistant bacteria and antibiotic residues in pigs. This study investigated the effects of Bacillus licheniformis-fermented products on diarrhea incidence and the fecal microbial community in weaning piglets. A total of 120 crossbred piglets with an average initial body weight of 9.87 ± 1.43 kg were randomly allotted to four dietary treatments consisting of three replicate stalls with 10 piglets in each. The dietary treatments comprised a basal diet as control, control plus 1 g/kg or 4.5 g/kg of B. licheniformis-fermented products, and control plus 30 mg/kg antibiotics (bacitracin methylene disalicylate). Results showed that 4.5 g/kg of B. licheniformis-fermented product supplementation significantly reduced diarrhea incidence in weaning piglets. Principal coordinate analysis and a heatmap of species abundance indicated distinct clusters between the groups treated with antibiotics and B. licheniformis-fermented products. The bacterial richness and evenness in the feces decreased in weaning piglets fed 1 g/kg of B. licheniformis-fermented products and antibiotics. The abundance of the genera [Ruminococcus] gauvreauii group, Ruminococcaceae UCG-005, and Ruminococcaceae UCG-008 in the feces decreased in weaning piglets fed B. licheniformis-fermented products or antibiotics. The average abundance of the genus Prevotella 9 in the feces was positively correlated with the concentration of B. licheniformis-fermented products and negatively correlated with the diarrhea incidence in weaning piglets. Furthermore, the average abundance of the genus Prevotella 9 in the feces was positively correlated with the growth performance of weaning piglets. These results demonstrate that B. licheniformis-fermented products can improve diarrhea incidence and fecal microflora composition in weaning piglets. Full article
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16 pages, 3064 KiB  
Article
The Role of Housing Environment and Dietary Protein Source on the Gut Microbiota of Chicken
by Shawna Marie Hubert, Morouj Al-Ajeeli, Christopher A. Bailey and Giridhar Athrey
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1085; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121085 - 05 Dec 2019
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 4250
Abstract
The gut microbiota of chicken has received much attention due to its importance for bird health, food safety, and performance. In the United States, the impending transition to cage-free housing environments has raised many questions about its consequences for poultry health, productivity, and [...] Read more.
The gut microbiota of chicken has received much attention due to its importance for bird health, food safety, and performance. In the United States, the impending transition to cage-free housing environments has raised many questions about its consequences for poultry health, productivity, and welfare. Therefore, we investigated how housing environments and feed composition affect the poultry gut microbiome. Such data is necessary to inform the design of production systems that promote health and food safety. In this study, we investigated the cecal microbiome of both caged and cage-free laying hens that were fed either an industry-standard soy-based versus a soy-free diet. Caged hens were housed in standard industry-style layer cages with one bird per cage, and cage-free hens were housed in a poultry barn with an outdoor enclosed yard with multiple hens per pen. Our study showed significant differences in the gut microbiota between cage-free and caged environments. Cage free housing generated higher diversity compared to caged housing. Furthermore, we observed a synergistic interaction of soy-based feed in cage-free housing, as the cage-free soy group showed the highest alpha diversity, whereas the caged-soy group showed the lowest diversity overall. Full article
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19 pages, 1407 KiB  
Article
Effect of Supplementing Hydrolysable Tannins to a Grower–Finisher Diet Containing Divergent PUFA Levels on Growth Performance, Boar Taint Levels in Back Fat and Intestinal Microbiota of Entire Males
by Marco Tretola, Federica Maghin, Paolo Silacci, Silvia Ampuero and Giuseppe Bee
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1063; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121063 - 02 Dec 2019
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 3531
Abstract
A retrospective data analysis suggested that the levels of boar taint compounds depend on the polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) level of the adipose tissue (AT) being significantly greater in the unsaturated AT. In addition, we recently reported that hydrolysable tannins (HTs) offered to [...] Read more.
A retrospective data analysis suggested that the levels of boar taint compounds depend on the polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) level of the adipose tissue (AT) being significantly greater in the unsaturated AT. In addition, we recently reported that hydrolysable tannins (HTs) offered to entire males (EMs) reduce skatole and, to a greater extent, indole levels in the AT. Thus, the objective of the study was to determine the impact of HTs and a high dietary level of PUFA on growth performance and board taint compounds in EMs. In addition, the interaction between PUFA and HTs on gut microbiota and its link to intestinal skatole and indole production was investigated. At 25 kg BW, 44 EM originating from 11 litters were randomly assigned within litter to four dietary treatments. Two basal grower (25–60 kg BW) and finisher (60–105 kg BW) diets containing either 2% soy oil (H = high PUFA level) or 2% tallow (L = low PUFA level) were formulated. The H and L diets were either supplemented (H+/L+) or not (H−/L−) with 3% chestnut extract containing 50% HTs. The pigs had ad libitum access to the diets and were slaughtered at 170 days of age. The microbiota composition was investigated through the 16S rRNA gene sequences obtained by next-generation sequencing (Illumia MiSeq platform, San Diego, CA, USA) and analyzed with a specific packages in R, version 3.5.0. Regardless of the PUFA content, the EMs fed the H+ diets were 2% (p < 0.01) less feed efficient overall. This was due to the slower (p = 0.01) growth in the finisher period despite similar feed intake. Carcass characteristics were not affected by the diets. Regardless of HT feeding, the PUFA level in the AT of the H pigs was 10% greater (p = 0.05) than in the L pigs. The indole level tended (p = 0.08) to be 50% lower in the H+ group. Surprisingly, the pigs that were fed diet H− had greater skatole levels than those fed diet L−, with intermediate skatole levels in the H+ and L+. Independent of the PUFA level, the HTs decreased bacteria abundance and qualitatively affected the microbiota composition. In conclusion, these data do not confirm that boar taint compound levels were related to PUFA levels in the AT. However, HTs can be considered to be a promising alternative to conventional antibacterial additives, with no detrimental effects on pig gut health and with appealing properties for reducing the synthesis of the main components of boar taint. Full article
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18 pages, 4609 KiB  
Article
Effects of Maternal Supplementation with Rare Earth Elements during Late Gestation and Lactation on Performances, Health, and Fecal Microbiota of the Sows and Their Offspring
by Yi Xiong, Jiaman Pang, Liangkang Lv, Yujun Wu, Na Li, Shimeng Huang, Zhi Feng, Ying Ren and Junjun Wang
Animals 2019, 9(10), 738; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9100738 - 28 Sep 2019
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3185
Abstract
The study was conducted to investigate the effects of maternal supplementation with rare earth elements (REEs) on sows and their offspring. During late gestation, 120 multiparous sows were divided randomly into the control group (Basal diet) and REE-G group (Basal diet supplemented with [...] Read more.
The study was conducted to investigate the effects of maternal supplementation with rare earth elements (REEs) on sows and their offspring. During late gestation, 120 multiparous sows were divided randomly into the control group (Basal diet) and REE-G group (Basal diet supplemented with 200 mg REE/kg). After delivery, REE-G group was further divided into two groups: REE-L- (Change to basal diet during lactation) and REE-L+ group (REE diet all the time). Our results showed that maternal REE supplementation improved the antioxidant and immunity of sows and piglets. Additionally, REE supply during late gestation significantly decreased the coefficient of within-litter variation (CV) in birth weight and increased the weaning weights and the average daily gain (ADG) of piglets. During lactation, the insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) levels in piglets of REE-L+ group were higher, while no difference between REE-L- and the control group. More beneficial bacteria (Christensenellaceae and Ruminococcaceae) were found in the REE-L+ group while some opportunistic pathogens (Proteobacteria and Campylobacter) were relatively suppressed. Fecal microbiota showed correlation with antioxidase, inflammatory factors, and average daily gain (ADG). Collectively, our findings indicated that REEs added in both gestation and lactation was more conducive to establish a healthier status for sows and their offspring. Full article
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13 pages, 1688 KiB  
Article
Effects of Maternal Low-Protein Diet on Microbiota Structure and Function in the Jejunum of Huzhu Bamei Suckling Piglets
by Jipeng Jin, Liping Zhang, Jianlei Jia, Qian Chen, Zan Yuan, Xiaoyan Zhang, Weibo Sun, Cunming Ma, Fafang Xu, Shoujun Zhan, Limin Ma and Guihua Zhou
Animals 2019, 9(10), 713; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9100713 - 23 Sep 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3208
Abstract
The jejunum is the primary organ for digestion and nutrient absorption in mammals. The development of the jejunum in suckling piglets directly affects their growth performance post-weaning. The jejunum microbiome plays an important role in proliferation, metabolism, apoptosis, immune, and homeostasis of the [...] Read more.
The jejunum is the primary organ for digestion and nutrient absorption in mammals. The development of the jejunum in suckling piglets directly affects their growth performance post-weaning. The jejunum microbiome plays an important role in proliferation, metabolism, apoptosis, immune, and homeostasis of the epithelial cells within the organ. The composition and diversity of the gut microbiome is susceptible to the protein composition of the diet. Therefore, the effects of maternal low-protein diets on piglets’ intestinal microbial structure and function have become a hot topic of study. Herein, a maternal low-protein diet was formulated to explore the effects on jejunum microbiome composition and metabolic profiles in Bamei suckling piglets. Using 16S ribosomal RNA (16S rRNA) sequencing in conjunction with bioinformatics analysis, 21 phyla and 297 genera were identified within the gut microflora. The top 10 phyla and 10 genera are within the gut bacteria. Next, KEGG analysis showed that the low-protein diet significantly increased the gut microbial composition, transport and catabolism, immune system, global and overview maps, amino acid metabolism, metabolism of cofactors and vitamins, endocrine system, biosynthesis of other secondary metabolites, signal transduction, environmental adaptation, and cell motility. Taken together, low-protein diets do not appear to affect the reproductive performance of Bamei sows but improved the gut microbiome of the suckling piglets as well as reduced the probability of diarrhea. The data presented here provide new insights on the dietary protein requirements to support the Huzhu Bamei pig industry. Full article
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12 pages, 733 KiB  
Article
Dietary 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 Supplementation Alleviates Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus Infection by Improving Intestinal Structure and Immune Response in Weaned Pigs
by Jiwen Yang, Gang Tian, Daiwen Chen, Ping Zheng, Jie Yu, Xiangbing Mao, Jun He, Yuheng Luo, Junqiu Luo, Zhiqing Huang, Aimin Wu and Bing Yu
Animals 2019, 9(9), 627; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9090627 - 29 Aug 2019
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 3850
Abstract
We conducted this experiment to determine if feeding 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D3) to weaned pigs would alleviate porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) infection and immune response. Forty-two weaned pigs were allotted to 1 of 6 dietary 25(OH)D3 treatments (5.5, 5.5, [...] Read more.
We conducted this experiment to determine if feeding 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D3) to weaned pigs would alleviate porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) infection and immune response. Forty-two weaned pigs were allotted to 1 of 6 dietary 25(OH)D3 treatments (5.5, 5.5, 43.0, 80.5, 118.0, 155.5 μg 25(OH)D3/kg diet) for 26 days. On day 22 of the trial, all the treatments were orally administrated with PEDV except for one of the 5.5 μg 25(OH)D3/kg treatments, which was challenged with the same volume of sterile saline and served as control. Another 5.5 μg 25(OH)D3/kg group for PEDV challenge was named CON-PEDV. Average daily gain (p < 0.05) was reduced by PEDV infection. PEDV administration also induced severe diarrhea (p < 0.05), reduction of villous height and the ratio of villous height to crypt depth, and increase of crypt depth and serum diamine oxidase activity (p < 0.05). Serum IgM and complement component 4 levels were increased by PEDV challenge. However, 155.5 μg 25(OH)D3/kg supplementation alleviated intestinal damage (p < 0.05) compared with CON-PEDV. Furthermore, 155.5 μg 25(OH)D3/kg supplementation downregulated the mRNA abundance of inflammatory cytokines and interferon signal pathway-related genes (p < 0.05) compared with CON-PEDV. These results suggested that dietary supplementation of 155.5 μg 25(OH)D3/kg could alleviate intestinal damage and protect against PEDV-induced inflammatory status. Full article
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13 pages, 800 KiB  
Article
Purified β-glucans of Different Molecular Weights Enhance Growth Performance of LPS-challenged Piglets via Improved Gut Barrier Function and Microbiota
by Junqiu Luo, Daiwen Chen, Xiangbing Mao, Jun He, Bing Yu, Long Cheng and Dafu Zeng
Animals 2019, 9(9), 602; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9090602 - 24 Aug 2019
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2976
Abstract
This study investigated β-glucan derived from Agrobacterium sp. ZX09 with high (2000 kDa) and low (300 kDa) molecular weight (MW) to compare their effects on growth performance and gut function in LPS-induced weaned piglets. Changes in jejunal morphology, mucosal barrier function, microbial populations, [...] Read more.
This study investigated β-glucan derived from Agrobacterium sp. ZX09 with high (2000 kDa) and low (300 kDa) molecular weight (MW) to compare their effects on growth performance and gut function in LPS-induced weaned piglets. Changes in jejunal morphology, mucosal barrier function, microbial populations, and fermentation in the piglets were determined. Data showed that β-glucan prevented body weight loss in LPS challenged piglets. Supplementation with both β-glucan fractions improved jejunal morphology. Compared to low MW, β-glucan of high MW generally up-regulated transcripts of ZO-1, MUC1, and MUC2 in jejunal mucosa to a lesser extent. Mucosal D-lactate, diamine oxidase, and anti-oxidation index were effectively resumed in β-glucan treatment. Both β-glucan diets provoked the emergence of a balanced microbiota and a richer concentration of volatile fatty acids in the colon. The richest community of bifidobacterium and concentration of butyrate emerged after feeding β-glucan with high MW. Results suggested that the effect of Agrobacterium sp. ZX09 β-glucans on the gut-modulatory function is largely linked to their MW. Low MW β-glucan mainly improved the mucosal barrier function in the jejunum, while high MW β-glucan had profound effects on the microbial community and fermentation in the hindgut of piglets. Full article
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15 pages, 5103 KiB  
Article
Influence of Traditional vs Alternative Dietary Carbohydrates Sources on the Large Intestinal Microbiota in Post-Weaning Piglets
by Marco Tretola, Alice Luciano, Matteo Ottoboni, Antonella Baldi and Luciano Pinotti
Animals 2019, 9(8), 516; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080516 - 01 Aug 2019
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3327
Abstract
In this study, common cereal grains were partially replaced by former foodstuffs products (FFPs) in post-weaning piglets’ diets, to investigate how these alternative ingredients influence the faecal microbiota in the post-weaning period. Twelve post-weaning piglets were housed for 16 days in individual pens [...] Read more.
In this study, common cereal grains were partially replaced by former foodstuffs products (FFPs) in post-weaning piglets’ diets, to investigate how these alternative ingredients influence the faecal microbiota in the post-weaning period. Twelve post-weaning piglets were housed for 16 days in individual pens and were then fed two diets: a standard wheat-barley-corn meal diet and a diet containing 30% FFPs, thus partially substituting conventional cereals. The growth performance was monitored and faecal microbiota was characterized by the next generation sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. The results showed no detrimental effects on growth performance when FFPs were used. However, the FFP diet decreased the bacterial richness and evenness in the large intestine, while minor differences were observed in the taxa composition. The core microbiota composition was only slightly affected, and no differences between the two groups in the gut microbiota composition at the phylum level over time were observed. Thus, although these results should be interpreted with caution, as they are case-specific, FFPs can be potentially used as alternative carbohydrate sources in post-weaning piglets, but further investigations are necessary to clarify their impact on gut health when used for a longer period. Full article
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