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Changes in faecal bacteria during fattening in finishing swine

Ban-Tokuda, Tomomi, Maekawa, Sakiko, Miwa, Takehiro, Ohkawara, Sou, Matsui, Hiroki
Anaerobe 2017 v.47 pp. 188-193
Bacteroides, Firmicutes, absorption, bacteria, body weight, crossbreds, energy, fatty acid composition, feces, feed conversion, feed intake, finishing, humans, intestinal microorganisms, large intestine, leptin, liveweight gain, mice, short chain fatty acids, swine, urea nitrogen
Body fat accumulation in mice and human is linked to the percentage of Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, two bacterial phyla dominant in the large intestine. However, little is known about the relationship between the composition of the gut microbiota and fattening in pig. This study aimed to investigate the abundance of Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, and Bacteroides, which is the major genus within Bacteroidetes, in porcine faeces during fattening. Ten 4-month-old crossbred pigs were given free access to commercial feed for fattening and water for 14 weeks. Daily feed intake and body weight were measured every 2 weeks. Faecal samples were collected at 0, 4, 8, and 14 weeks, and plasma samples were collected every 2 weeks. Daily feed intake increased until 8 weeks, and then decreased. Body weight increased with fattening during the experimental period. Feed efficiency showed high values at 0–4 and 6–8 weeks. The level of Firmicutes increased (P < 0.05), whereas those of Bacteroides and Bacteroidetes decreased (P < 0.05) with fattening. The total short chain fatty acid content in the faeces increased (P < 0.05) with fattening until 8 weeks and then decreased (P < 0.05) at 14 weeks. There were no significant relationships between the level of Firmicutes and feed intake or plasma leptin concentration. The levels of Bacteroidetes and Bacteroides correlated with feed intake, body weight, and plasma leptin or plasma urea nitrogen (PUN) concentration. Our results suggested that the level of Firmicutes increased and those of Bacteroidetes and Bacteroides decreased with increase in feed intake and body weight, similar to previous results obtained for mice and human. However, energy extraction from feed was not influenced by compositional alteration of gut flora, because daily gain and feed efficiency did not show high values towards the end of the fattening period. Manipulating the gut microbiota might help improve fattening performance, although further studies are necessary to understand the relationships between the composition of gut microbiota and energy absorption.