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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2018

Authors: Siegerstetter, SC; Petri, RM; Magowan, E; Lawlor, PG; Zebeli, Q; O'Connell, NE; Metzler-Zebeli, BU

Title: Fecal Microbiota Transplant from Highly Feed-Efficient Donors Shows Little Effect on Age-Related Changes in Feed-Efficiency-Associated Fecal Microbiota from Chickens.

Source: Appl Environ Microbiol. 2018; 84(2):

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Metzler-Zebeli Barbara
Petri Renee
Siegerstetter Sina-Catherine
Zebeli Qendrim

Vetmed Research Units
Institute of Animal Nutrition and Functional Plant Compounds

Project(s): A whole-system approach to optimising feed efficiency and reducing the ecological footprints of monogastrics

Chickens with good or poor feed efficiency (FE) have been shown to differ in their intestinal microbiota composition. This study investigated differences in the fecal bacterial community of highly and poorly feed-efficient chickens at 16 and 29 days posthatch (dph) and evaluated whether a fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) from feed-efficient donors early in life can affect the fecal microbiota in chickens at 16 and 29 dph and chicken FE and nutrient retention at 4 weeks of age. A total of 110 chickens were inoculated with a FMT or a control transplant (CT) on dph 1, 6, and 9 and ranked according to residual feed intake (RFI; the metric for FE) on 30 dph. Fifty-six chickens across both inoculation groups were selected as the extremes in RFI (29 low, 27 high). RFI-related fecal bacterial profiles were discernible at 16 and 29 dph. In particular, Lactobacillus salivarius, Lactobacillus crispatus, and Anaerobacterium operational taxonomic units were associated with low RFI (good FE). Multiple administrations of the FMT only slightly changed the fecal bacterial composition, which was supported by weighted UniFrac analysis, showing similar bacterial communities in the feces of both inoculation groups at 16 and 29 dph. Moreover, the FMT did not change the RFI and nutrient retention of highly and poorly feed-efficient recipients, whereas it tended to increase feed intake and body weight gain in female chickens. This finding suggests that host- and environment-related factors may more strongly affect chicken fecal microbiota and FE than the FMT.IMPORTANCE Modulating the chicken's early microbial colonization using a FMT from highly feed-efficient donor chickens may be a promising tool to establish a more desirable bacterial profile in recipient chickens, thereby improving host FE. Although FE-associated fecal bacterial profiles at 16 and 29 dph could be established, the microbiota composition of a FMT, when administered early in life, may not be a strong factor modulating the fecal microbiota at 2 to 4 weeks of life and reducing the variation in chicken's FE. Nevertheless, the present FMT may have potential benefits for growth performance in female chickens.Copyright © 2018 American Society for Microbiology.

Keywords Pubmed: Age Factors
Animal Feed
Bacteriaisolation & purification
Chickensgrowth & developmentmicrobiology
Fecal Microbiota Transplantation
Gastrointestinal Microbiome
Weight Gain

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