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Zentralbl Veterinarmed B. 1990 Oct;37(8):570-4.

The role of intestinal volatile fatty acids in the Salmonella shedding of pigs.

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Veterinary Medical Research Institute, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest.


Factors affecting colonization of the intestinal tract by salmonellas were studied in two pig herds. In herd H 18% of the faecal samples taken from live pigs and 30% of the colon content samples collected at slaughter contained salmonellas. In contrast, the 50 faecal samples taken from pigs of herd L were negative and only 2% of the colon contents collected at the yielded salmonellas. An antibacterial effect inhibiting salmonella multiplication was demonstrable in vitro in colon contents from pigs of herd L. No such effect was found to exist in samples taken from pigs of herd H. The antibacterial effect is due to the non-dissociated volatile fatty acid (VFA) molecules present in the colon content. As the degree of VFA dissociation depends on the pH of the environment, at lower pH values (pH 6.1 +/- 0.2) of the colon contents from herd L the ratio of non-dissociated VFA molecules is higher and the resulting antibacterial effect is stronger than in samples from herd H (pH 7.1 +/- 0.3).

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