Profiling of composition and metabolic activities of the colonic microflora of growing pigs fed diets supplemented with prebiotic oligosaccharides
Mountzouris, K.C., Balaskas, C., Fava, F., Tuohy, K.M., Gibson, G.R. and Fegeros, K. (2006) Profiling of composition and metabolic activities of the colonic microflora of growing pigs fed diets supplemented with prebiotic oligosaccharides. Anaerobe, 12 (4). pp. 178-185. ISSN 1075-9964
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.anaerobe.2006.04.001
It is evident that quantitative information on different microbial groups and their contribution in terms of activity in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of humans and animals is required in order to formulate functional diets targeting improved gut function and host health. In this work, quantitative information on levels and spatial distributions of Bacteroides spp, Eubacterium spp, Clostridium spp, Escherichia coli, Bifidobacterium spp and Lactobacillus/Enterococcus spp. along the porcine large intestine was investigated using 16S rRNA targeted probes and fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH). Caecum, ascending colon (AC) and rectum luminal digesta from three groups of individually housed growing pigs fed either a corn-soybean basal diet (CON diet) or a prebiotic diet containing 10 g/kg oligofructose (FOS diet) or trans-galactooligosaccharides (TOS diet) at the expense of cornstarch were analysed. DAPI staining was used to enumerate total number of cells in the samples. Populations of total cells, Bacteroides, Eubacterium, Clostridium and Bifidobacterium, declined significantly (P < 0.05) from caecum to rectum, and were not affected by dietary treatments. Populations of Lactobacillus/ Enterococcus and E coli did not differ throughout the large intestine. The relative percent (%) contribution of each bacterial group to the total cell count did not differ between caecum and rectum, with the exception of Eubacterium that was higher in the AC digesta. FISH analysis showed that the sum of all bacterial groups made up a small percentage of the total cells, which was 12.4%, 21.8% and 10.3% in caecum, AC and rectum, respectively. This supports the view that in swine, the diversity of GI microflora might be higher compared to other species. In terms of microflora metabolic activity, the substantially higher numerical trends seen in FOS and TOS treatments regarding total volatile fatty acid, acetate concentrations and glycolytic activities, it could be postulated that FOS and TOS promoted saccharolytic activities in the porcine colon. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.