Effect of Feeding Insoluble Fibre On The Microbiome And Metabolites of The Caecum And Faeces of Rabbits Recovering From Epizootic Rabbit Enteropathy Relative To Non-Infected Animals
Background:This study aimed to investigate the effect of feeding insoluble fibre on the microbiome and metabolites of the caecum and faeces of rabbits recovering from epizootic rabbit enteropathy relative to non-infected animals.Methods:Animals which had either recovered from epizootic rabbit enteropathy, or ones which had never had epizootic rabbit enteropathy were fed on a diet of 32% or 36% neutral detergent fibre until they were 70 days of age. At this point short chain fatty acid and
... a levels were measured in caecotroph and faecal samples and compared using 2x2 ANOVA. The microbial composition of the samples was also analysed using next generation sequencing and compared by PERMANOVA.Results:Caecotrophic samples from previously affected animals on lower fibre diets had higher short chain fatty acid content and higher species diversity index values for some indices (P<0.05), although faecal samples showed lower species diversity levels (P<0.05). In addition, PERMANOVA analyses demonstrated that differences were detected in the microbial composition of both faecal and caecotrophic samples depending on the disease status at the outset of the experiment (P<0.05).Conclusions:The results of this work show that although there is some potential in the use of high fibre diets for treatment of animals which have had epizootic rabbit enteropathy, they are not able to produce the same digestive tract properties as those seen in animals which have never had the condition. This is true even after animals have recovered from epizootic rabbit enteropathy.