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PLoS One. 2017 Mar 1;12(3):e0173029. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0173029. eCollection 2017.

Exploring gastric bacterial community in young pigs.

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Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences (DISTAL), University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.


Microbiota plays an important role in the homeostasis of the gastrointestinal tract. Understanding the variations of the commensal microbiota composition is crucial for a more efficient control of enteric infectious diseases and for the reduction of the use of antibiotics in animal production, which are the main points of interest for improved animal healthcare and welfare and for consumer health protection. Even though the intestinal microbiota has been extensively studied, little is known about the gastric microbiota. This pilot study was aimed at a descriptive analysis of the gastric microbiota in healthy pigs and at the identification of any differences among four potentially distinct microbial niches in the stomach. Gastric mucosal samples from the oxyntic area, the pylorus and the gastric groove, and a sample of gastric contents were collected from four healthy weaned pigs. Bacterial DNA was isolated and extracted from each sample and amplicons from the V6 region of the 16S rRNA gene were sequenced using Ion Torrent PGM. The data were analysed by an "unsupervised" and a "supervised" approach in the Ribosomal Database Project (RDP) pipeline. Proteobacteria was the dominant phylum in all the samples. Differences in bacterial community composition were found between mucosal and content samples (one-way ANOSIM pairwise post hoc test, p < 0.05); instead, the different mucosal regions did not show differences between them. The mucosal samples were characterised by Herbiconiux and Brevundimonas, two genera which include cellulolytic and xylanolytic strains. Nevertheless, additional larger trials are needed to support the data presented in this pilot study and to increase the knowledge regarding the resident microbiota of the stomach.

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