Characterization of the fecal microbiota of pigs before and after inoculation with "Brachyspira hampsonii"

Matheus O. Costa, Bonnie Chaban, John C.S. Harding, Janet E. Hill

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26 Scopus citations


"Brachyspira hampsonii" causes disease indistinguishable from swine dysentery, and the structure of the intestinal microbiome likely plays a role in determining susceptibility of individual pigs to infection and development of clinical disease. The objectives of the current study were to determine if the pre-inoculation fecal microbiota differed between inoculated pigs that did (INOC MH) or did not (INOC non-MH) develop mucohaemorrhagic diarrhea following challenge with "B. hampsonii", and to quantify changes in the structure of the microbiome following development of clinical disease. Fecal microbiota profiles were generated based on amplification and sequencing of the cpn60 universal target sequence from 89 samples from 18 pigs collected at -8, -5, -3 and 0 days post-inoculation, and at termination. No significant differences in richness, diversity or taxonomic composition distinguished the pre-inoculation microbiomes of INOC MH and INOC non-MH pigs. However, the development of bloody diarrhea in inoculated pigs was associated with perturbation of the microbiota relative to INOC non-MH or sham-inoculated control pigs. Specifically, the fecal microbiota of INOC MH pigs was less dense (fewer total 16S rRNA copies per gram of feces), and had a lower Bacteroidetes:Firmicutes ratio. Further investigation of the potential long-term effects of Brachyspira disease on intestinal health and performance is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere106399
JournalPloS one
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 28 2014


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