With constant changes and the rapid evolution of molecular technologies, the gastrointestinal microbiota of pigs has been studied quite in depth over the last few years. Becoming better known and playing a fundamental role in both animal health and welfare.
|The gut microbiota provides the pig with many functions, including an improved energy-collecting capacity, volatile fatty acid production, vitamin K production, cellulose fermentation, and increased resistance against pathogenic bacteria.|
Interestingly, the gut of newborns before birth is thought to be devoid of microbes. However,it quickly undergoes a remarkable shift from an essentially germ-free state to an extremely dense microbial population which eventually experiences microbial successions, and establishes a microbial community that is similar to that of adults.
Gut microbial composition and the ecological succession of gut microbiota in the first years of life are determined by various complex internal and external factors. For example:
All of these play an important role in shaping piglets’ gut microbial community.
|Weaning in the early stages of life, represents a significant time of transition and stress for the animals.|
Understanding the dynamics of pigs’ gut microbiota during the transition to weaning is of great interest, as it influences the overall health and growth performance of pigs.
TRANSITION TO WEANING AND MICROBIOTA COMPOSITION
Weaning is an abrupt separation of piglets from the sow, characterized by stressful changes that can contribute to intestinal and immune dysfunctions. Resulting in reductions in both the health status and growth performance of piglets.
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