Topical Collection "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".

Editor

Prof. Paolo Bosi
Website
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

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.

Prof. Paolo Bosi
Collection Editor

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Keywords

  • Pig
  • Poultry
  • Rabbit
  • Gut microbiota
  • Beneficial microbes
  • Prebiotic
  • Mucosa-associated lymphatic tissue
  • Gut physiology
  • Antimicrobial
  • Animal genome

Published Papers (18 papers)

2020

Jump to: 2019

Open AccessArticle
Color of Colon Content of Normal and Intrauterine Growth-Restricted Weaned Piglets Is Associated with Specific Microbial Taxa and Physiological Parameters
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1073; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061073 - 22 Jun 2020
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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Open AccessReview
A Review of the Effect of Formic Acid and Its Salts on the Gastrointestinal Microbiota and Performance of Pigs
Animals 2020, 10(5), 887; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10050887 - 19 May 2020
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
Open AccessArticle
Early-Life Intake of an Isotonic Protein Drink Improves the Gut Microbial Profile of Piglets
Animals 2020, 10(5), 879; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10050879 - 18 May 2020
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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Open AccessArticle
Transport to the Slaughterhouse Affects the Salmonella Shedding and Modifies the Fecal Microbiota of Finishing Pigs
Animals 2020, 10(4), 676; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040676 - 13 Apr 2020
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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Open AccessArticle
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
Animals 2020, 10(3), 459; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10030459 - 10 Mar 2020
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
Open AccessArticle
Effects of Thymol and Thymol α-D-Glucopyranoside on Intestinal Function and Microbiota of Weaned Pigs
Animals 2020, 10(2), 329; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020329 - 19 Feb 2020
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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Open AccessArticle
Targeted-Release Organic Acids and Essential Oils Improve Performance and Digestive Function in Broilers under a Necrotic Enteritis Challenge
Animals 2020, 10(2), 259; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020259 - 06 Feb 2020
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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Open AccessArticle
Applicability of an Unmedicated Feeding Program Aimed to Reduce the Use of Antimicrobials in Nursery Piglets: Impact on Performance and Fecal Microbiota
Animals 2020, 10(2), 242; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020242 - 03 Feb 2020
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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Open AccessReview
Composition and Function of Chicken Gut Microbiota
Animals 2020, 10(1), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010103 - 08 Jan 2020
Cited by 3
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: 2020

Open AccessArticle
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
Animals 2020, 10(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010017 - 20 Dec 2019
Cited by 2
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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Open AccessArticle
Bacillus licheniformis-Fermented Products Reduce Diarrhea Incidence and Alter the Fecal Microbiota Community in Weaning Piglets
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1145; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121145 - 13 Dec 2019
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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Open AccessArticle
The Role of Housing Environment and Dietary Protein Source on the Gut Microbiota of Chicken
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1085; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121085 - 05 Dec 2019
Cited by 5
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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Open AccessArticle
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
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1063; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121063 - 02 Dec 2019
Cited by 2
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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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
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
Animals 2019, 9(10), 738; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9100738 - 28 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
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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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Maternal Low-Protein Diet on Microbiota Structure and Function in the Jejunum of Huzhu Bamei Suckling Piglets
Animals 2019, 9(10), 713; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9100713 - 23 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
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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Open AccessArticle
Dietary 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 Supplementation Alleviates Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus Infection by Improving Intestinal Structure and Immune Response in Weaned Pigs
Animals 2019, 9(9), 627; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9090627 - 29 Aug 2019
Cited by 3
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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Open AccessArticle
Purified β-glucans of Different Molecular Weights Enhance Growth Performance of LPS-challenged Piglets via Improved Gut Barrier Function and Microbiota
Animals 2019, 9(9), 602; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9090602 - 24 Aug 2019
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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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Traditional vs Alternative Dietary Carbohydrates Sources on the Large Intestinal Microbiota in Post-Weaning Piglets
Animals 2019, 9(8), 516; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080516 - 01 Aug 2019
Cited by 3
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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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

1. Title: On a chicken gut microbiota

Authors: Professor Ivan Rychlik

Affiliation: Veterinary Research Institute, Brno, Czech Republic

 

2. Title: Early parenteral administration of ceftiofur has short- and longterm effects on the fecal microbiota and growth in pigs from the suckling to growing phase

Authors: Prof. Dr. Barbara Metzler-Zebeli

Affiliation: Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna

 

 

 

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