Zearalenone (ZEA), an estrogenic mycotoxin, is mainly produced by Fusarium
fungi. In this study, Bacillus licheniformis
CK1 isolated from soil with the capability of degrading ZEA was evaluated for its efficacy in reducing the adverse effects of ZEA in piglets. The gilts were fed one of the following three diets for 14 days: a basic diet for the control group; the basic diet supplemented with ZEA-contaminated basic diet for the treatment 1 (T1) group; and the basic diet supplemented with fermented ZEA-contaminated basic diet by CK1 for the treatment 2 (T2) group. The actual ZEA contents (analyzed) were 0, 1.20 ± 0.11, 0.47 ± 0.22 mg/kg for the control, T1, and T2 diets, respectively. The results showed that the T1 group had significantly increased the size of vulva and the relative weight of reproductive organs compared to the control group at the end of the trial. The T1 group significantly decreased the concentration of the luteinizing hormone (LH) compared with the control and T2 groups. Expression of ERβ was significantly up-regulated in the T2 group compared with the control. In addition, expression of ERβ was not different between the control and the T1 group. In summary, our results suggest that Bacillus licheniformis
CK1 could detoxify ZEA in feed and reduce the adverse effects of ZEA in the gilts.
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