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The role of gut microbiota in the health and disease of pigs Open Access
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Fouhse, Janelle M.
Zijlstra, Ruurd T.
Willing, Benjamin P.
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The gut microbial ecosystem is fundamental in proper nutritional, physiological, and immunological functions of the pig. However, composition and function of a healthy microbial ecosystem have yet to be qualitatively and quantitatively defined to be used as a tool to maximize animal health and performance. As efforts are made to reduce antibiotic use in swine production, the gut microbiota needs to be recognized for its capacity to enhance disease resistance. Increasing diet complexity, by including cereal grains high in fermentable carbohydrates, is a sustainable option to increase microbial diversity and beneficial microbes, help prevent incidence of post-weaning diarrhea, and decrease sub-therapeutic antibiotic use. Although currently limited by regulatory issues, the introduction of microbial communities that have evolved to protect the pig may increase diversity of the gut microbial ecosystem and provide further protection.
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Fouhse, J. M., Zijlstra, R. T., & Willing, B. P. (2016). The role of gut microbiota in the health and disease of pigs. Animal Frontiers, 6(3), 30-36. http://dx.doi.org/10.2527/af.2016-0031
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