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Anim Health Res Rev. 2012 Jun;13(1):110-20. doi: 10.1017/S1466252312000102.

The microbiome of the soft palate of swine.

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Department of Pathobiology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1, Canada.


The tonsil of the soft palate in pigs is a secondary lymphoid tissue that provides a first line of defense against foreign antigens entering by the mouth or nares. It has been known for a long time to be the site of colonization of important swine and zoonotic bacterial pathogens. Initially our understanding of microbes present at this site came from culture-based studies. Very recently, sequence-based approaches have been used to identify the core microbiome of the swine tonsil. Although animal to animal and herd to herd variation was detected in these studies, >90 of the organisms detected belonged to the phyla Proteobacteria and Firmicutes. Members of the family Pasteurellaceae appeared to be predominate in the tonsil; however, the relative proportions of Actinobacillus, Haemophilus, and Pasteurella varied. Members of the families Moraxellaceae, Fusobacteriaceae, Veillonellaceae, and Neisseriaceae were also seen as frequent residents of the tonsil.

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