Early-life intake of an isotonic protein drink improves the gut microbial profile of piglets

Stefan G. Buzoianu, Ava M. Firth, Callabria Putrino, Fabio Vannucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A healthy microbial community in the gut of piglets is critical to minimize the negative performance consequences associated with dietary and environmental changes that occur at weaning. Tonisity Px, an isotonic protein drink, is a potential alternative to balance the gut microbiota as it contains key ingredients for nourishing the small intestine. In the present study, 16 litters comprising 161 piglets were randomly allocated to a group to which Tonisity Px was provided from days 2 to 8 of age (TPX group) or to a control group, to which no Tonisity Px was provided. The TPX group also received Tonisity Px in the 3 days before and after weaning. At days 9, 17, and 30 of age, fecal and ileum samples were collected from piglets belonging to both groups and analyzed using 16S rRNA gene sequencing, semiquantitative PCR of Rotavirus serogroups, and semiquantitative Escherichia coli culture. Overall, Tonisity Px increased the abundance of beneficial bacterial populations (Lactobacillus and Bacteroides species) and reduced potentially pathogenic bacterial populations (E. coli and Prevotellaceae), in both the pre-weaning and post-weaning periods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number879
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2020


  • 16S rRNA gene sequencing
  • Escherichia coli
  • Isotonic drink
  • Microbiota
  • Piglets
  • Tonisity Px
  • Weaning

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