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This study investigated the effects of dietary C. butyricum ZJU-F1 on the apparent digestibility of nutrients, intestinal barrier function, immune response, and microflora of weaned piglets, with the aim of providing a theoretical basis for the application of Clostridium butyricum as an alternative to antibiotics in weaned piglets. A total of 120 weanling piglets were randomly divided into four treatment groups, in which piglets were fed a basal diet supplemented with antibiotics (CON), Bacillus licheniformis (BL), Clostridium butyricum ZJU-F1 (CB), or Clostridium butyricum and Bacillus licheniformis (CB-BL), respectively. The results showed that CB and CB-BL treatment increased the intestinal digestibility of nutrients, decreased intestinal permeability, and increased intestinal tight junction protein and mucin expression, thus maintaining the integrity of the intestinal epithelial barrier. CB and CB-BL, as exogenous probiotics, were also found to stimulate the immune response of weaned piglets and improve the expression of antimicrobial peptides in the ileum. In addition, dietary CB and CB-BL increased the proportion of Lactobacillus. The levels of butyric acid, propionic acid, acetic acid, and total acid were significantly increased in the ceca of piglets fed CB and CB-BL. Furthermore, we validated the effects of C. butyricum ZJU-F1 on the intestinal barrier function and immune response in vitro and found C. butyricum ZJU-F1 improved intestinal function and enhanced the TLR-2-MyD88-NF-κB signaling.

Keywords: C. butyricum ZJU-F1; TLR2; intestinal barrier; microbiota; weaning piglets.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Clostridium butyricumEnhanced Immune ResponseBeneficial
Clostridium butyricumEnhanced Immunological Signaling via TLR-2-MyD88-NF-κB PathwayBeneficial
Clostridium butyricumImproved Antimicrobial Peptide ExpressionBeneficial
Clostridium butyricumImproved DigestibilityBeneficial
Clostridium butyricumImproved Intestinal Epithelial Barrier FunctionBeneficial
Clostridium butyricumImproved Lactobacillus AbundanceBeneficial
Clostridium butyricumIncreased Short-Chain Fatty Acid LevelsBeneficial
Clostridium butyricumReduced Intestinal PermeabilityBeneficial

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