Special Issue "Food Animal Microbiomes: Food Production, Microbes, and One Health"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal System and Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 April 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Erika Ganda

Guest Editor
Pennsylvania State University, University Park, United States

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The effects of the microbiota in host physiological aspects, such as body weight and composition, have been studied for over 10 years in mice and humans. However, the field of microbiome research in food production animals is just starting to unleash its potential. To date, many studies have identified associations between the microbiome, productivity, and management practices in various food animal species; yet, the specific organisms and metabolic pathways involved remain to be determined. Food production is intensively dependent on the microbiome, and in the face of the predicted global population growth, measures must be taken to meet the needs of forecasted animal protein production.

Medically important antibiotics are highly regulated in regards to their use in feed or water of food-producing animals, which calls for alternative approaches to obtain efficient animal production. The growing body of evidence points to the potential of modifying the microbiome of various species to improve production performance. Recently published work has identified that specific feed supplementation (nutraceuticals, prebiotics, probiotics, tailored symbiotics) improves production performance in various food-producing species; however, the specific organisms and mechanisms involved in this improvement remain to be described. Likewise, the gut microbiota composition has been shown to differ between high- and low-feed-conversion animals, and sub-lethal doses of antibiotics have been demonstrated to selectively enrich for bacteria associated with improved gut health. Achieving growth promotion and feed conversion benefits without the use of antibiotics would be advantageous for the agricultural industry and public health.

With the goal to publish research that will have an impact on improving animal health, productivity, and food safety, we invite the submission of original manuscripts and review articles that address the many areas of research involved in safe production of animal-based foods. Topics of interest include the following:

  • Mechanisms responsible for beneficial effects observed in various feeding strategies;
  • Precision feeding based on microbiomes;
  • Mitigating antimicrobial resistance in the food supply;
  • Best practices for the development of tailored probiotics;
  • Effect of nutraceuticals, prebiotics, and probiotics in food animal’s health and productivity.

Prof. Erika Ganda
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • microbiomes
  • livestock
  • poultry
  • cattle
  • swine
  • probiotics
  • precision feeding
  • antimicrobial resistance
  • food supply chain
  • symbiotics
  • nutraceuticals

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Essential Oils on Gut Microbial Profiles in Pigs
Animals 2020, 10(10), 1734; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10101734 - 24 Sep 2020
In recent years, the intake of ultra-processed foods has increased dramatically worldwide. Missing natural foods in the diet raise the need of biologically active food components that could compensate for this deficiency and help maintain proper immune status. This study used pigs as [...] Read more.
In recent years, the intake of ultra-processed foods has increased dramatically worldwide. Missing natural foods in the diet raise the need of biologically active food components that could compensate for this deficiency and help maintain proper immune status. This study used pigs as an animal model for the assessment of the impact of consumption of Origanum vulgare plant extract combined with Mentha piperita and Thymus vulgaris essential oils on microbial profile in intestines. A single group of weaned pigs received basal diet, while the other group basal diet supplemented with plant extract and two essential oils in the form of bilayer tablets prepared using “liquid/solid” phase technology. Metagenomic sequencing was performed with the aim to investigate changes of microbial communities in ileum, caecum, and colon. The results demonstrated that the combination of essential oils was non cytotoxic, and had a positive effect on the microbial composition in the large intestine of pigs due to significant increase in the number of probiotic bacteria. The amount of Lactobacillus was 2.5 times and Bifidobacterium 1.9 times higher in the animal group fed with supplement. The combination, however, had some negative impact on the variety of minor species in the distal part of the ileum. Additional studies need to be performed to obtain knowledge on how combinations of essential oils can change bacterial variety in the proximal part of the gastrointestinal tract. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Animal Microbiomes: Food Production, Microbes, and One Health)
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