The objective of the current experiment was to explore the intestinal microbiota ecological response to oral administrations of hydrogen-rich water (HRW) and lactulose (LAC) in female piglets fed a Fusarium
mycotoxin-contaminated diet. A total of 24 individually-housed female piglets (Landrace × large × white; initial average body weight, 7.25 ± 1.02 kg) were randomly assigned to receive four treatments (six pigs/treatment): uncontaminated basal diet (negative control, NC), mycotoxin-contaminated diet (MC), MC diet + HRW (MC + HRW), and MC diet + LAC (MC + LAC) for 25 days. Hydrogen levels in the mucosa of different intestine segments were measured at the end of the experiment. Fecal scoring and diarrhea rate were recorded every day during the whole period of the experiment. Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) profiles in the digesta of the foregut and hindgut samples were assayed. The populations of selected bacteria and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) profiles of total bacteria and methanogenic Archaea
were also evaluated. Results showed that Fusarium
mycotoxins not only reduced the hydrogen levels in the caecum but also shifted the SCFAs production, and populations and communities of microbiota. HRW treatment increased the hydrogen levels of the stomach and duodenum. HRW and LAC groups also had higher colon and caecum hydrogen levels than the MC group. Both HRW and LAC protected against the mycotoxin-contaminated diet-induced higher diarrhea rate and lower SCFA production in the digesta of the colon and caecum. In addition, the DGGE profile results indicated that HRW and LAC might shift the pathways of hydrogen-utilization bacteria, and change the diversity of intestine microbiota. Moreover, HRW and LAC administrations reversed the mycotoxin-contaminated diet-induced changing of the populations of Escherichia coli (E. coli)
in ileum digesta and hydrogen-utilizing bacteria in colon digesta.
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