Xylo-oligosaccharides and virginiamycin differentially modulate gut microbial composition in chickens

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  • Background The emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance in pathogens have led to a restriction on the use of antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) in animal feed in some countries. The potential negative after-effects of a ban on AGPs could be mitigated by improving animal intestinal health with prebiotic dietary fibers such as xylo-oligosaccharides (XOS). However, the mechanism(s) by which an antibiotic or prebiotic contributes to the health and growth of animals are not well understood. Here, we evaluated XOS and virginiamycin (VIRG)-mediated changes in gut microbiota of broiler chickens using pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Results There was a significant change in the relative abundance of certain bacteria, but the overall microbial diversity was not affected by treatment with either XOS or VIRG. Supplementation of HXOS (2 g XOS/kg diet) increased the proportion of Lactobacillus genus in the cecum, whereas Propionibacterium and Corynebacterium genera were enriched in the ileum of VIRG (16 mg/kg) treated birds. Furthermore, an increase in the cecal concentrations of acetate and propionate was observed in HXOS- and VIRG-fed chickens, respectively. These two groups of birds had better feed conversion efficiencies in comparison with the control group from day 7 to 21. In addition, temporal variations in the gut microbiota were evident in the chickens of different ages. Conclusions Treatments with XOS or VIRG modified the relative abundance but not the presence or absence of specific microbial genus. The increase in both Lactobacillus spp. and acetate production in the cecum of HXOS-treated chickens may promote intestinal health.

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    Attribution 4.0 International
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    • Pourabedin, M., Guan, L. L., & Zhao, X. (2015). Xylo-oligosaccharides and virginiamycin differentially modulate gut microbial composition in chickens. Microbiome, 3(15), [12 pages]. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40168-015-0079-4
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