Gastrointestinal microbiota and mucosal immune gene expression in neonatal pigs reared in a cross-fostering model

Nidia Maradiaga, Brian Aldridge, Mohamed Zeineldin, James Lowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Cross fostering is employed to equalize the number of piglet between litters ensuring colostrum intake for their survival and growth. However, little is known about the impact of cross fostering on the intestinal microbiota and mucosal immune gene expression of the neonatal pig. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of maternal microbial communities on the gastrointestinal (GI) microbiota and mucosal immune gene expression in young pigs reared in a cross-fostering model. Piglets were given high quality colostrum from birth dam or foster dam upon birth. Twenty-four piglets were randomly assigned at birth to 1 of 3 treatments according to colostrum source and postcolostral milk feeding during, as follow: treatment 1 (n = 8), received colostrum and post-colostral milk feeding from their own dam; treatment 2 (n = 8), received colostrum from foster dam and returned to their own dam for post-colostral milk feeding; and treatment 3 (n = 8), received colostrum and post-colostral milk feeding from foster dam. Genomic DNA was extracted, and the V1-V3 hypervariable region of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene was amplified and sequenced using the Illumina MiSeq platform. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis was also performed to quantify the expression of toll-like receptors (TLR) 2, TLR 4, TLR 10, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), interferon gamma (IFNγ), and interleukin (IL) 4 and IL 10. Data analysis revealed that microbial communities were varied according to the GI biogeographical location, with colon being the most diverse section. Bacterial communities in both maternal colostrum and vaginal samples were significantly associated with those present in the fecal samples of piglets. Cross-fostering did not affect bacterial communities present in the piglet GI tract. However, the mRNA expression of TLR and inflammatory cytokines changed (P < 0.05) with biogeographical location in the GI tract. Higher mRNA expression of TLR and inflammatory cytokines was observed in ileum and ileum associated lymph tissues. This study suggests an impact of colostrum and maternal microbial communities on the microbiota development and mucosal immune gene expression in the newly born piglet. This study revealed novel information about the distribution and expression patterns of TLR and inflammatory cytokines in the GI tract of the young pig. Future studies are needed to determine the role and clinical importance of the mucosal microbiota and mucosal gene expression in health, productivity, and susceptibility to the development of GI disease, in piglets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-39
Number of pages13
JournalMicrobial Pathogenesis
Volume121
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2018

Keywords

  • Colostrum
  • Cross-fostering
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Gene expression
  • Microbiota
  • Piglet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases

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