Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Appl Environ Microbiol. 2000 Jun;66(6):2536-40.

Role of volatile fatty acids in development of the cecal microflora in broiler chickens during growth.

Author information

Centre for Veterinary Public Health and Environmental Protection, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


It is known that volatile fatty acids can inhibit growth of species of the family Enterobacteriaceae in vitro. However, whether these volatile fatty acids affect bacterial populations in the ceca of chickens is unknown. Therefore, a study was conducted to investigate if changes in volatile fatty acids in ceca of broiler chickens during growth affect bacterial populations. Results showed that members of the Enterobacteriaceae and enterococci are present in large numbers in 3-day-old broilers and start to decrease when broilers grow older. Lactobacilli are present in large numbers as well in 3-day-old broilers, but they remain stable during the growth of broilers. Acetate, butyrate, and propionate increase from undetectable levels in 1-day-old broilers to high concentrations in 15-day-old broilers, after which they stabilize. Significant negative correlations could be calculated between numbers of Enterobacteriaceae and concentrations of undissociated acetate, propionate, and butyrate. Furthermore, pure cultures of Enterobacteriaceae isolated from the ceca were grown in the presence of volatile fatty acids. Growth rates and maximal optical density decreased when these strains grew in the presence of increasing volatile fatty acid concentrations. It is concluded that volatile fatty acids are responsible for the reduction in numbers of Enterobacteriaceae in the ceca of broiler chickens during growth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center