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Abstract

Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus (LDB) is an approved feed additive on the Chinese ‘Approved Feed Additives’ list. However, the possibility of LDB as an antibiotic replacement remains unclear. Particularly, the effect of LDB on microbiota and metabolites in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) requires further explanation. This study aimed to identify the microbiota and metabolites present in fecal samples and investigate the relationship between the microbiota and metabolites to evaluate the potential of LDB as an antibiotic replacement in pig production. A total of 42 female growing-finishing pigs were randomly allocated into the antibiotic group (basal diet + 75 mg/kg aureomycin) and LDB (basal diet + 3.0 × 109 cfu/kg LDB) groups. Fecal samples were collected on days 0 and 30. Growth performance was recorded and assessed. 16S rRNA sequencing and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-based non-targeted metabolomics approaches were used to analyze the differences in microbiota and metabolites. Associations between the differences were calculated using Spearman correlations with the Benjamini−Hochberg adjustment. The LDB diet had no adverse effect on feed efficiency but slightly enhanced the average daily weight gain and average daily feed intake (p > 0.05). The diet supplemented with LDB increased Lactobacillus abundance and decreased that of Prevotellaceae_NK3B31_group spp. Dietary-supplemented LDB enhanced the concentrations of pyridoxine, tyramine, D-(+)-pyroglutamic acid, hypoxanthine, putrescine and 5-hydroxyindole-3-acetic acid and decreased the lithocholic acid concentration. The Lactobacillus networks (Lactobacillus, Peptococcus, Ruminococcaceae_UCG-004, Escherichia-Shigella, acetophenone, tyramine, putrescine, N-methylisopelletierine, N1-acetylspermine) and Prevotellaceae_NK3B31_group networks (Prevotellaceae_NK3B31_group, Treponema_2, monolaurin, penciclovir, N-(5-acetamidopentyl)acetamide, glycerol 3-phosphate) were the most important in the LDB effect on pig GIT health in our study. These findings indicate that LDB may regulate GIT function through the Lactobacillus and Prevotellaceae_NK3B31_group networks. However, our results were restrained to fecal samples of female growing-finishing pigs; gender, growth stages, breeds and other factors should be considered to comprehensively assess LDB as an antibiotic replacement in pig production.

Keywords: Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus; co-occurrence network; gastrointestinal tract; metabolites; microbiota.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Lactobacillus bulgaricusIncreased Fecal LactobacilliBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus bulgaricusIncreased Levels of Beneficial MetabolitesBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus bulgaricusReduced Lithocholic Acid ConcentrationBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus bulgaricus LB42Improved Growth PerformanceBeneficial
Small
Lactobacillus bulgaricus LB42Improved Overall Gastrointestinal HealthBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus bulgaricus Lb-87Altered Gut Microbiota CompositionBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus bulgaricus Lb-87Increased Valerate ConcentrationBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus bulgaricus SD-6833Improved Growth PerformanceBeneficial
Small
Lactobacillus bulgaricus SD-6833Increased Fecal LactobacilliBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus bulgaricus SD-6833Increased Levels of Beneficial MetabolitesBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus bulgaricus SD-6833Reduced Lithocholic Acid ConcentrationBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus bulgaricus SD-6833Regulated Gastrointestinal FunctionBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus delbrueckiiIncreased Fecal LactobacilliBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus delbrueckiiReduced Lithocholic Acid ConcentrationBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus UALb-15Altered Gut Microbiota CompositionBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus UALb-15Enhanced Metabolite LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus UALb-15Improved Average Daily GainNeutral
Small
Lactobacillus delbrueckii VPro 315Altered Pyridoxine ConcentrationNeutral
Moderate
Lactobacillus delbrueckii VPro 315Increased Fecal LactobacilliBeneficial
Moderate

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