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Profiling the gastrointestinal microbiota in response to Salmonella: Low versus high Salmonella shedding in the natural porcine host

Bearson, Shawn M.D., Allen, Heather K., Bearson, Bradley L., Looft, Torey, Brunelle, Brian W., Kich, Jalusa D., Tuggle, Christopher K., Bayles, Darrell O., Alt, David, Levine, Uri Y., Stanton, Thaddeus B.
Infection, genetics, and evolution 2013 v.16 pp. 330
Catenibacterium, DNA, Prevotella, Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium, bacterial communities, colonizing ability, community structure, excretion, feces, hosts, intestinal microorganisms, nucleotide sequences, piglets, ribosomal RNA, salmonellosis, species diversity
Controlling Salmonella in the food chain is complicated by the ability of Salmonella to colonize livestock without causing clinical symptoms/disease. Salmonella-carrier animals are a significant reservoir for contamination of naïve animals, the environment, and our food supply. Salmonella carriage and shedding in pigs varies greatly both experimentally and on-farm. To investigate the dynamics between the porcine intestinal microbiota and Salmonella shedding, we temporally profiled the microbiota of pigs retrospectively classified as low and high Salmonella-shedders. Fifty-four piglets were collectively housed, fed and challenged with 109Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. Bacterial quantitation of Salmonella in swine feces was determined, and total fecal DNA was isolated for 16S rRNA gene sequencing from groups of high-shedder, low-shedder, and non-inoculated pigs (n=5/group; 15 pigs total). Analyses of bacterial community structures revealed significant differences between the microbiota of high-shedder and low-shedder pigs before inoculation and at 2 and 7days post-inoculation (d.p.i.); microbiota differences were not detected between low-shedder and non-inoculated pigs. Because the microbiota composition prior to Salmonella challenge may influence future shedding status, the “will-be” high and low shedder phylotypes were compared, revealing higher abundance of the Ruminococcaceae family in the “will-be” low shedders. At 2d.p.i., a significant difference in evenness for the high shedder microbiota compared to the other two groups was driven by decreases in Prevotella abundance and increases in various genera (e.g. Catenibacterium, Xylanibacter). By 21d.p.i., the microbial communities of high-shedder and low-shedder pigs were no longer significantly different from one another, but were both significantly different from non-inoculated pigs, suggesting a similar Salmonella-induced alteration in maturation of the swine intestinal microbiota regardless of shedding status. Our results correlate microbial shifts with Salmonella shedding status in pigs, further defining the complex interactions among the host, pathogen, and microbiota of this important public health issue and food safety concern.