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Effect of Bifidobacterium thermophilum RBL67 and fructo-oligosaccharides on the gut microbiota in Göttingen minipigs.

The British journal of nutrition (2015-08-28)
Sabine A Tanner, Christophe Lacroix, Christophe Del'Homme, Christoph Jans, Annina Zihler Berner, Annick Bernalier-Donadille, Christophe Chassard
ABSTRACT

Modulating the gut microbiota via dietary interventions is a common strategy to enhance the natural defence mechanisms of the host. Several in vitro studies have highlighted the probiotic potential of Bifidobacterium thermophilum RBL67 (RBL67) selected for its anti-Salmonella effects. The present study aimed to investigate the impact of RBL67 alone and combined with fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) on the gut microbiota of Göttingen minipigs. Minipigs were fed a basal diet supplemented with 8 g/d probiotic powder (1×109 CFU/g in skim milk matrix) (probiotic diet (PRO)), 8 g/d probiotic powder plus 8 g/d FOS (synbiotic diet (SYN)) or 8 g/d skim milk powder (control), following a cross-sectional study design. Faecal and caecal microbiota compositions were analysed with pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes and quantitative PCR. Metabolic activity in the caecum and colon was measured by HPLC. 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing revealed that minipig faeces show close similarity to pig microbiota. During the treatments and at the time of killing of animals, RBL67 was consistently detected in faeces, caecum and colon at numbers of 105-106 16S rRNA copies/g content after feeding PRO and SYN diets. At the time of killing of animals, significantly higher Bifidobacterium numbers in the caecum and colon of SYN-fed minipigs were measured compared with PRO. Our data indicate that the Göttingen minipig may be a suitable model for gut microbiota research in pigs. Data from this first in vivo study of RBL67 colonisation suggest that the combination with FOS may represent a valuable symbiotic strategy to increase probiotic bacteria levels and survival in gastrointestinal tracts for feed and food applications.

MATERIALS
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