Role of the gut microbiota in equine health and disease

E.B. Venable, S.D. Bland, J.L. McPherson, J. Francis
2016 Animal Frontiers  
Shortly after birth the mammalian gut is colonized, by a transient microbiota, highly susceptible to environment and diet, that eventually stabilizes and becomes the resident gut microbiota. In a window of opportunity during the colonization, oral tolerance is established towards resident bacteria. In this study, the development of the equine gut microbiota was investigated in ten foals from parturition until post weaning. We found great differences in the core species of the gut microbiota
more » ... gut microbiota composition between time-matched samples on Day 7 and 20 post-partum. Between day 20 and Day 50 postpartum, we saw the gut microbiota became increasingly dominated by fiber fermenting species. After Day 50, no significant changes in species abundance were observed. Gene expression analysis of proand anti-inflammatory cytokines in the blood revealed no significant changes before and after weaning. In summary, relative stability of the gut microbiota was reached within 50 days post-partum and, weaning did not have a major impact on the microbial composition.
doi:10.2527/af.2016-0033 fatcat:nmaskkgxlrf7hilolrtdfcidem