Effects of dosing non-toxigenic Clostridia on the bacterial populations and immunological responses in the intestinal tract of lactating dairy cows

Hye Won Kim, Na Kyung Kim, Jesse Thompson, Mackenzie de Jesus, Josh Rehberger, Thomas Rehberger, Alexandra Helena Smith, Roderick Ian Mackie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Understanding the effects of dosing non-toxigenic Clostridia to cows is rare and has received little attention so far. In the present study, a total of eight lactating dairy cows were divided in two groups: control (n = 4) or Clostridia challenged (oral supplementation of five diverse strains of Paraclostridium bifermentans, n = 4). Bacterial communities were analyzed by qPCR and next-generation sequencing (NGS) in the buccal mucosa as well as digesta and mucosal samples of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract from rumen to rectum (10 compartments), as well as fecal samples. Transcriptomic analysis of barrier and immune-related gene expression was performed on rumen, jejunum, and liver samples. We observed increased microbial populations with the Clostridial challenge in the buccal tissues and the proximal GI tract (forestomach), correlating with Clostridial loads in the feed. Otherwise, there were no significant differences in microbial populations (p > 0.05) throughout the distal part of the GI tract. The NGS approach, however, revealed that the Clostridial challenge changed the relative abundance of gut and fecal microbiota. In particular, in the challenge group, no Bifidobacterium was observed in the mucosa-associated microbiota and abundance of Pseudomonadota increased in the feces. These results indicated potential adverse effects of Clostridia to cow health. In general, immune responses to the Clostridial challenge were weak. However, transcriptional analysis revealed the down-regulation of junction adhesion molecule encoding gene (−1.44 of log2 fold-change), which might impact intestinal permeability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1107964
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Volume14
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Clostridia
  • dosing
  • immune function
  • intestinal tract
  • lactating cows

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Microbiology

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