Selectived and Reshaped Early Dominant Microbial Community in the Cecum With Similar Proportions and Better Homogenization and Species Diversity Due to Organic Acids as AGP Alternatives Mediate Their Effects on Broilers Growth.
ABSTRACT: Understanding the differences in microbial communities shaped by different food selective forces, especially during early post-hatch period, is critical to gain insight into how to select, evaluate, and improve antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) alternatives in food animals. As a model system, commercial diet-administered OAs (DOAs) and water-administered OAs (WOAs) were used separately or in combination as Virginiamycin alternatives for broiler feeding during two growth phases: 1-21 days and 22-42 days. Among these three OA-treated groups, the DOA group was most similar to the AGP group in the composition and the proportion of these dominant bacterial communities at the level of phylum, family, and genus in cecal chyme of broilers. Sub-therapeutic Virginiamycin decreased the richness, homogenization, and species diversity of gut microbiota, especially in the early growth stage from days 1 to 21. Among these three OA supplementation schemes, it was clear that DOA supplementation was more likely to increase or maintain the richness, homogenization, species diversity, and predicted gene functions of cecal microbiota in treated broilers than either no supplementation or AGP supplementation during two experimental stages. The interference of DOA treatment with early colonization of probiotics and pathogens in broiler cecum was the most similar to AGP treatment, and OAs did not cause the occurrence of Virginiamycin-resistant strains of Enterococcus at the end of this trial. In terms of the predicted gene functions of the microbiota, AGP and DOA treatments provided a similar selective force for microbial metabolism functions in the cecum of broiler chickens, especially in the early growth stage. Noticeably, the relative abundance of some microbiome that was modified by Virginiamycin or DOA supplementation was significantly correlated with body weight gain and KEGG pathway analysis-annotated gene functions such as replication and repair, translation, nucleotide metabolism, and so on. With the comprehensive analysis of these results and practical application, shortened DOA supplementation, after optimization of the amount of addition, would be a suitable alternative to sub-therapeutic Virginiamycin. It was suggested that the programed intestinal microecology under such early selection forces and the effective addition time may be the key elements to focus on the designed alternate strategies of AGPs in food animals.
Project description:Background:Antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) have been used as growth promoters to maintain animal intestinal health and improve feed efficiency in broilers by inhibiting pathogen proliferation. In view of the growing emergence of antibiotic-resistant pathogen strains and drug residue issues, novel treatments are increasingly required. This study aimed to compare two antimicrobial approaches for managing pathogen infection and maintaining animal intestinal health in broilers by supplying Apidaecin Api-PR19 and AGPs over 42?d of a feeding trial. Results:Compared with the broilers that were only fed a corn-soybean basal diet (CON group), supplementation with Api-PR19 and AGP (respectively named the ABP and AGP groups) both increased the feed conversion efficiency. When compared with the AGP group, Api-PR19 supplementation could significantly increase the organ index of the bursa of fabricius and subtype H9 antibody level in broiler chickens. Moreover, when compared with the CON group, the intestinal villus height, intestinal nutrient transport, and intestinal sIgA content were all increased in the Api-PR19 group, while AGP supplementation was harmful to the intestinal villus height and intestinal nutrient transport. By assessing the antibacterial effect of Api-PR19 and antibiotics in vitro and in vivo, we found that Api-PR19 and antibiotics both inhibited the growth of pathogens, including Escherichia coli and Campylobacter jejuni. Furthermore, by using 16S rRNA gene sequencing, the beneficial bacteria and microbiota in broilers were not disturbed but improved by apidaecin Api-PR19, including the genera of Eubacterium and Christensenella and the species of uncultured_Eubacterium_sp, Clostridium_asparagiforme, and uncultured_Christensenella_sp, which were positively related to improved intestinal development, absorption, and immune function. Conclusion:Apidaecin Api-PR19 treatment could combat pathogen infection and had little negative impact on beneficial bacteria in the gut compared to antibiotic treatment, subsequently improving intestinal development, absorption, and immune function.
Project description:Antimicrobial growth promoters (AGPs) are commonly used in the livestock industry at subtherapeutic levels to improve production efficiency, which is achieved mainly through modulation of the intestinal microbiota. However, how different classes of AGPs, particularly ionophores, regulate the gut microbiota remains unclear. In this study, male Cobb broiler chickens were supplemented for 14 days with or without one of five commonly used AGPs including three classical antibiotics (bacitracin methylene disalicylate, tylosin, and virginiamycin) and two ionophores (monensin and salinomycin) that differ in antimicrobial spectrum and mechanisms. Deep sequencing of the V3-V4 region of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene revealed that two ionophores drastically reduced a number of rare bacteria resulting in a significant decrease in richness and a concomitant increase in evenness of the cecal microbiota, whereas three antibiotics had no obvious impact. Although each AGP modulated the gut microbiota differently, the closer the antibacterial spectrum of AGPs, the more similarly the microbiota was regulated. Importantly, all AGPs had a strong tendency to enrich butyrate- and lactic acid-producing bacteria, while reducing bile salt hydrolase-producing bacteria, suggestive of enhanced metabolism and utilization of dietary carbohydrates and lipids and improved energy harvest, which may collectively be responsible for the growth-promoting effect of AGPs.
Project description:Antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) are frequently used to enhance weight-gain in poultry production. However, there has been increasing concern over the impact of AGP on the emergence of antibiotic resistance in zoonotic bacterial pathogens in the microbial community of the poultry gut. In this study, we adopted mass-spectrophotometric, phylogenetic, and shotgun-metagenomic approaches to evaluate bioactive phenolic extracts (BPE) from blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) and blackberry (Rubus fruticosus) pomaces as AGP alternatives in broilers. We conducted two trials with 100 Cobb-500 broiler chicks (in each trial) in four equal groups that were provided water with no supplementation, supplemented with AGP (tylosin, neomycin sulfate, bacitracin, erythromycin, and oxytetracycline), or supplemented with 0.1 g Gallic acid equivalent (GAE)/L or 1.0 g GAE/L (during the last 72 h before euthanasia) of BPE for 6 weeks. When compared with the control group (water only), the chickens supplemented with AGP and 0.1 g GAE/L of BPE gained 9.5 and 5.8% more body weight, respectively. The microbiomes of both the AGP- and BPE-treated chickens had higher Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratios. AGP supplementation appeared to be associated with higher relative abundance of bacteriophages and unique cecal resistomes compared with BPE supplementation or control. Functional characterization of cecal microbiomes revealed significant animal-to-animal variation in the relative abundance of genes involved in energy and carbohydrate metabolism. These findings established a baseline upon which mechanisms of plant-based performance enhancers in regulation of animal growth can be investigated. In addition, the data will aid in designing alternate strategies to improve animal growth performance and consequently production.
Project description:This experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of wheat bran (WB) and antibiotics on growth performance, intestinal immunity, barrier function, and microbial composition in broiler chickens. A total of 168 one-day-old male Arbor Acre chicks were allocated to 3 treatments consisting of 7 replicates with 8 birds per replicate. The 3 treatments were: an antibiotic-free control diet (control, CON), CON + 75 mg/kg chlortetracycline as an antibiotic growth promoter (AGP), and CON + 3% WB. Birds fed AGP and WB had greater (P < 0.05) ADG during days 1 to 21 and lower (P < 0.05) feed-to-gain ratio during each phase than those fed CON. The WB supplementation reduced (P < 0.05) serum concentrations of tumor necrosis factor-? and diamine oxidase activity compared with CON on both day 21 and 42. The AGP and WB supplementation decreased (P < 0.05) interleukin-1? concentration in jejunal mucosa on day 21 and increased (P < 0.05) secretory immunoglobulin A concentration in jejunal mucosa on day 21 and 42. The relative expression of occludin in jejunal mucosa was upregulated (P < 0.05) in WB than in CON on day 21. Moreover, both AGP and WB supplementation upregulated (P < 0.05) the relative expression of zonula occludens-1 in jejunal mucosa on day 21 and 42. The WB supplementation enhanced the ?-diversity of cecal microbiota, as evidenced by the increased Shannon index (P < 0.05). At the phylum level, the phylum Firmicutes was enriched (P < 0.05) in WB. At the genus level, the WB supplementation enriched (P < 0.05) Lachnoclostridium and Butyricicoccus. The WB supplementation increased (P < 0.05) cecal total short chain fatty acids concentrations on day 21 and 42, and butyric acid concentrations on day 42 compared with CON. Collectively, supplementation of 3% WB could promote growth by improving intestinal immunity, barrier function, and microbial composition in broilers. Thus, WB may have a role in replacing antibiotics for improved growth performance and intestinal health in broilers.
Project description:The objectives of this study were to determine the protective effects of organic acids (OA) in broilers exposed to Salmonella Pullorum challenge at early stage and to explore the potential benefits of OA by metabolomics analysis. The treatment groups included non-challenged, S. Pullorum-challenged, challenged group supplemented with virginiamycin, challenged group supplemented with OA in drinking water, challenged group supplemented with OA in feed, and challenged group supplemented with OA in combination in drinking water and feed. Results showed that early Salmonella challenge induced an acute systemic infection of broilers in the starter phase, followed by the grower phase without triggering clinical signs. OA supplementation promoted growth during the grower phase, and while OA in water contributed more, the positive effects of OA in combination were comparable to those of virginiamycin supplementation in challenged birds. Furthermore, OA could modulate the systemic metabolic perturbation caused by challenge as it alleviated stress responses mediated by steroid hormone, potentially attenuated antioxidant or immune defense, and modified intestinal microbiota metabolism. These results show a metabolic mechanism that may partly explain the potential benefits of OA in Salmonella challenged birds, and may contribute to the use of OA to control or reduce S. Pullorum infection in farm animals.
Project description:We investigated the effects of a blend of organic acids (OAs) and medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) supplementation in 800 1-d-old male Ross 308 broiler chickens (42 ± 0.90 g) in a 7-week study. Broiler chicks were randomly allocated into one of the five dietary treatments (16 birds per pen with 10 pens per treatment). Dietary treatments consisted of corn-soybean meal based basal diet and the basal diet supplemented with blend of OAs and MCFAs at 0.25, 0.5, 0.75 g, and 1 g per kg of feed. In the current study, during the whole experimental period, the inclusion of the blend of OAs and MCFAs in the basal diet linearly improved (p < 0.05) body weight gain (BWG), feed conversion ratio (FCR), and dry matter digestibility. The increasing inclusion of the blend of OA and MCFA levels in the diets linearly decreased (p = 0.002) feed intake during d 1 to 7. Broilers fed diets containing different levels of the blend of OAs and MCFAs showed a linear increase (p = 0.006) in Lactobacillus concentrations and decrease (p = 0.014) in ammonia (NH3) at the end of the experiment. However, the blend of OAs and MCFAs did not affect carcass quality, E. coli, and Salmonella counts, as well as hydrogen sulfide and total mercaptans gas emission (p > 0.05). In conclusion, the blend of OA and MCFA supplementation positively influenced growth performance, DM digestibility, excreta Lactobacillus counts, as well as NH3 gas emission in broiler chickens.
Project description:The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of replacing antibiotics with a combination of plant essential oils on the growth performances and gastrointestinal health of broilers. A total of 720 1-day-old male AA broilers were randomly divided into 3 treatments: the control treatment (CON), the Aureomycin supplementation treatment (AGP), and the combined plant oils supplementation treatment (POC), with a 42-D period feeding procedure. Growth performances, carcass performances, intestinal sections, and cecal microbiota were investigated. Results indicated that POC supplementation decreased the feed conversion ratio compared with CON and AGP treatments, though not significantly. No significant differences were found for feed intake, BW gain, and culling rate among the 3 treatments (P > 0.05). In addition, no significant differences were seen on carcass performance. For the aspects of intestinal section, POC supplementation did not make significant effects on intestinal wall thickness, villus heights, crypt depths, and the ratio of villus heights/crypt depths compared with CON and AGP treatments. Cecal microbiota results demonstrated that bacterial diversity and some representative probiotic bacteria were significantly increased in numbers (P < 0.05) after POC supplementation. In conclusion, the combination of essential oils promoted intestinal health through improving gut bacterial diversity and probiotic bacteria, as well as improving feed conversion ratio of broilers. These results indicated that the combination of essential oils may benefit the gastrointestinal health and be applied as an antibiotic alternative.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance in pathogens have led to a restriction on the use of antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) in animal feed in some countries. The potential negative after-effects of a ban on AGPs could be mitigated by improving animal intestinal health with prebiotic dietary fibers such as xylo-oligosaccharides (XOS). However, the mechanism(s) by which an antibiotic or prebiotic contributes to the health and growth of animals are not well understood. Here, we evaluated XOS and virginiamycin (VIRG)-mediated changes in gut microbiota of broiler chickens using pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. RESULTS: There was a significant change in the relative abundance of certain bacteria, but the overall microbial diversity was not affected by treatment with either XOS or VIRG. Supplementation of HXOS (2 g XOS/kg diet) increased the proportion of Lactobacillus genus in the cecum, whereas Propionibacterium and Corynebacterium genera were enriched in the ileum of VIRG (16 mg/kg) treated birds. Furthermore, an increase in the cecal concentrations of acetate and propionate was observed in HXOS- and VIRG-fed chickens, respectively. These two groups of birds had better feed conversion efficiencies in comparison with the control group from day 7 to 21. In addition, temporal variations in the gut microbiota were evident in the chickens of different ages. CONCLUSIONS: Treatments with XOS or VIRG modified the relative abundance but not the presence or absence of specific microbial genus. The increase in both Lactobacillus spp. and acetate production in the cecum of HXOS-treated chickens may promote intestinal health.
Project description:In this study, the effects of plant extracts (PEs) and virginiamycin (VIRG) on broiler growth performance, as well as on host intestinal microbiota composition and function were investigated. A total of 288 one-day-old male Cobb broiler chickens were randomly divided into four treatment groups (with six replicates per group). The duodenal, ileal, and cecal content of six broilers per treatment group after 14 and 28 days of treatment were sampled. This material was used for high-throughput Illumina sequencing of the V3-V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene. The results showed that chickens fed 400 mg/kg plant extracts (HPE group) had significantly higher average body weights at day 28 as compared to the control group (CT; P < 0.05), and lower feed-to-meat ratios over days 15-42 (P < 0.01). Within the HPE group at day 14, the relative abundances of two bacterial phyla and 10 bacterial genera increased significantly in the ileal microbiota, and the relative abundance of three bacterial phyla and four bacterial genera decreased. The relative abundance of the genus Lactobacillus in the cecal microbiota decreased from 21.48% (CT group) to 8.41% (fed 200 mg/kg PEs; LPE group), 4.2% (HPE group), and 6.58% (fed 30 mg/kg virginiamycin; VIRG group) after 28 days. In contrast, Faecalibacterium and unclassified Rikenellaceae increased in abundance in the HPE group (from 18 to 28.46% and from 10.83 to 27.63%, respectively), while Bacteroides (36.7%) and Lachnospiraceae increased in abundance in the VIRG group. PICRUSt function analysis showed that the ileal microbiota of the PE treatment groups were more enriched in genes related to the meolism of cofactors and vitamins. In addition, the cecal microbiotas of the LPE and HPE groups were enriched in genes predicted to encode enzymes within 15 and 20 pathways, respectively. These pathways included protein digestion and absorption, amino acid metabolism, lipid biosynthesis, lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis, the citrate cycle (TCA cycle), and lipoic acid metabolism. Similarly, the VIRG group was enriched in 55 metabolic pathways (17 in the duodenum, 18 in the ileum, and 20 in the cecum) on day 28 (P < 0.05). Thus, the results indicated that the observed increase in broiler growth performance after PE or VIRG supplementation might be attributed to an improvement in intestinal microbial composition and metabolic function.
Project description:Modern broiler chickens have ongoing bone health problems. Phosphorus (P) plays an important role in bone development and increased understanding of P metabolism should improve the skeletal health of broilers. Enterococcus faecium has been widely used as a probiotic in broiler production and is shown to improve skeletal health of rats, but its effect on the bones of broilers remains unclear. This study investigated the effect of E. faecium on P absorption and utilization in broilers and the associated changes in the gut microbiota using 16S rDNA sequencing. Dietary supplementation with E. faecium improved P absorption through upregulation of the expression of intestinal NaP-IIb mRNA and increased the concentration of serum alkaline phosphatase. These actions increased P retention and bone mineralization in E. faecium-treated broilers. The positive effects of E. faecium on P metabolism were associated with changes in the populations of the intestinal microbiota. There was increased relative abundance of the following genera, Alistipes, Eubacterium, Rikenella and Ruminococcaceae and a decrease in the relative abundance of Faecalibacterium and Escherichia-Shigella. Dietary supplementation with E. faecium changed gut microbiota populations of broilers, increased the relative abundance of SCFA (short-chain fatty acid)-producing bacteria, improved intestinal P absorption and bone forming metabolic activities, and decreased P excretion. E. faecium facilitates increased utilisation of P in broilers.