Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences

Drs. Richard Isaacson and Tim Johnson Publish Paper on Piglet Gut Shifts in Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology

January 21, 2019
Mother Pig and Piglets

The paper, "Piglet gut microbial shifts early in life: causes and effects," by Robin Guevarra, Jun Hyung Lee, Sun Hee Lee, Min-Jae Seok, Doo Wan Kim, Bit Na Kang, Tim Johnson, Richard Isaacson, and Hyeun Bum Kin was published in the Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology. This paper highlights the intestinal microbiota and how it plays a major role in the development of the immune system and overall health of piglets.

The gut microbiome has long been known to play fundamentally important roles in the animal health and the well-being of its host. As such, the establishment and maintenance of a beneficial gut microbiota early in life is crucial in pigs, since early gut colonizers are pivotal in the establishment of permanent microbial community structures affecting the health and growth performance of pigs later in life. Emphasizing this importance of early gut colonizers, it is critical to understand the factors impacting the establishment of the piglet gut microbiome at weaning. Factors include, among others, diet, in-feed antibiotics, probiotics and prebiotic administration. The impact of these factors on establishment of the gut microbiome of piglets at weaning includes effects on piglet gut microbial diversity, structure, and succession. In this review, we thoroughly reviewed the most recent findings on the piglet gut microbiome shifts as influenced by weaning, and how these microbiome changes brought about by various factors that have been shown to affect the development of microbiota in piglets. This review will provide a general overview of recent studies that can help to facilitate the design of new strategies to modulate the gut microbiome in order to enhance gastrointestinal health, growth performance and well-being of piglets.