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Comparison of bacterial communities in faeces of beef cattle fed diets containing corn and wet distillers' grain with solubles

Durso, L.M., Wells, J.E., Harhay, G.P., Rice, W.C., Kuehn, L., Bono, J.L., Shackelford, S., Wheeler, T., Smith, T.P.L.
Letters in applied microbiology 2012 v.55 no.2 pp. 109
Anaerobacter, Escherichia coli O157, Prevotella, animal physiology, bacteria, beef cattle, cattle feeding, cattle feeds, community structure, corn, distillers grains, experimental diets, feces, finishing, food pathogens, human health, intestinal microorganisms, nucleotide sequences, pollution
Aim: The mammalian intestinal microflora has been shown to impact host physiology. In cattle, intestinal bacteria are also associated with faecal contamination of environmental sources and human illness via foodborne pathogens. Use of wet distillers' grains with solubles (WDGS) in cattle feed creates a gastrointestinal environment where some bacterial species are enriched. Here, we examine if a diet containing 40% WDGS results in fundamentally different microbial community structures. Methods and Results: The 20 002 16S r-RNA gene sequences from 20 beef cattle were analysed using Sanger sequencing methods. At the genus level, Prevotella (Gram negative) and Anaerobacter (Gram positive) were the most frequently occurring bacteria in our beef cattle faecal samples. Diet-associated differences in prevalence were noted for Prevotella but not Anaerobacter. Conclusions: Diet affects community structure. Faecal communities of co-housed beef cattle are not identical. Significance and Impact of the Study: It is known that a diet of 40% corn-based WDGS increases the generic Escherichia coli in the faeces and enriches E.coli O157:H7. The results from the current study suggest that in addition to previously observed changes in E.coli, the entire bacterial community structure is different for animals fed 40% corn-based WDGS compared to a traditional corn-finishing diet.