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Poult Sci. 2006 Apr;85(4):747-52.

Intestinal bacterial community and growth performance of chickens fed diets containing antibiotics.

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Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture, University of São Paulo, 13418-900, Piracicaba, SP, Brazil.


This study was conducted to relate the performance of broiler chickens fed diets containing growth-promoting antibiotics to changes in the intestinal microbiota. The technique of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of amplicons of the region V3 of 16S rDNA was used to characterize the microbiota. Two experiments were conducted, one with broilers raised in battery cages and the other with broilers raised in floor pens. Antibiotics improved the performance of the chickens raised in floor pens only. Avilamycin, bacitracin methylene disalicylate, and enramycin induced changes in the composition of the intestinal bacterial community of the birds in both experiments. The number of bacterial genotypes found in the intestinal tract of chickens was not reduced by the antibiotics supplemented in either environment. However, the changes in the composition of the intestinal bacterial community induced by antibiotics may be related to improvement in growth performance. This was indicated by the suppression of 6 amplicons and the presence of 4 amplicons exclusive to the treatment that had the best performance in the floor pen experiment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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