Metagenomic Analysis of the Fecal Archaeome in Suckling Piglets Following Perinatal Tulathromycin Metaphylaxis

Mohamed Zeineldin, Ameer Megahed, Benjamin Blair, Brian Aldridge, James Lowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The gastrointestinal microbiome plays an important role in swine health and wellbeing, but the gut archaeome structure and function in swine remain largely unexplored. To date, no met-agenomics-based analysis has been done to assess the impact of an early life antimicrobials intervention on the gut archaeome. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of perinatal tu-lathromycin (TUL) administration on the fecal archaeome composition and diversity in suckling piglets using metagenomic sequencing analysis. Sixteen litters were administered one of two treat-ments (TUL; 2.5 mg/kg IM and control (CONT); saline 1cc IM) soon after birth. Deep fecal swabs were collected from all piglets on days 0 (prior to treatment), 5, and 20 post intervention. Each pig-let’s fecal archaeome was composed of rich and diverse communities that showed significant changes over time during the suckling period. At the phylum level, 98.24% of the fecal archaeome across all samples belonged to Euryarchaeota. At the genus level, the predominant archaeal genera across all samples were Methanobrevibacter (43.31%), Methanosarcina (10.84%), Methanococcus (6.51%), and Methanocorpusculum (6.01%). The composition and diversity of the fecal archaeome between the TUL and CONT groups at the same time points were statistically insignificant. Our find-ings indicate that perinatal TUL metaphylaxis seems to have a minimal effect on the gut archaeome composition and diversity in sucking piglets. This study improves our current understanding of the fecal archaeome structure in sucking piglets and provides a rationale for future studies to decipher its role in and impact on host robustness during this critical phase of production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1825
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Archaeome
  • Perinatal
  • Piglets
  • Sequencing
  • Tulathromycin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • General Veterinary


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