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Open AccessArticle

Time-Dependent Changes in the Intestinal Microbiome of Gilts Exposed to Low Zearalenone Doses

Microbiology Laboratory, Non-Public Health Care Centre, Limanowskiego 31A, 10-342 Olsztyn, Poland
Department of Veterinary Prevention and Feed Hygiene, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Oczapowskiego 13, 10-718 Olsztyn, Poland
Independent Public Health Care Centre of the Ministry of the Interior and Administration, and the Warmia and Mazury Oncology Centre in Olsztyn, Wojska Polskiego 37, 10-228 Olsztyn, Poland
Department of Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science, Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Słoneczna 34, 10-710 Olsztyn, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxins 2019, 11(5), 296;
Received: 26 March 2019 / Revised: 20 May 2019 / Accepted: 22 May 2019 / Published: 24 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxin Exposure and Related Diseases)
Zearalenone is a frequent contaminant of cereals and their by-products in regions with a temperate climate. This toxic molecule is produced naturally by Fusarium fungi in crops. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of low zearalenone doses (LOAEL, NOAEL and MABEL) on the intestinal microbiome of gilts on different days of exposure (days 7, 21 and 42). Intestinal contents were sampled from the duodenal cap, the third part of the duodenum, jejunum, caecum and the descending colon. The experiment was performed on 60 clinically healthy gilts with average BW of 14.5 ± 2 kg, divided into three experimental groups and a control group. Group ZEN5 animals were orally administered ZEN at 5 μg /kg BW, group ZEN10—10 μg ZEN/kg BW and group ZEN15—15 µg ZEN/kg BW. Five gilts from every group were euthanized on analytical dates 1, 2 and 3. Differences in the log values of microbial counts, mainly Escherichia coli and Enterococcus faecalis, were observed between the proximal and distal segments of the intestinal tract on different analytical dates as well as in the entire intestinal tract. Zearalenone affected the colony counts of intestinal microbiota rather than microbiome diversity, and its effect was greatest in groups ZEN10 and ZEN15. Microbial colony counts were similar in groups ZEN5 and C. In the analysed mycobiome, ZEN exerted a stimulatory effect on the log values of yeast and mould counts in all intestinal segments, in particular in the colon, and the greatest increase was noted on the first analytical date. View Full-Text
Keywords: zearalenone; doses; intestinal microbiome; intestinal mycobiome; pre-pubertal gilts zearalenone; doses; intestinal microbiome; intestinal mycobiome; pre-pubertal gilts
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Cieplińska, K.; Gajęcka, M.; Dąbrowski, M.; Rykaczewska, A.; Lisieska-Żołnierczyk, S.; Bulińska, M.; Zielonka, Ł.; Gajęcki, M.T. Time-Dependent Changes in the Intestinal Microbiome of Gilts Exposed to Low Zearalenone Doses. Toxins 2019, 11, 296.

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