Microbiota of piglets with three different feed additives via maternal or neonatal administration route



Feed additives aiming to improve gastrointestinal health are frequently supplied to piglets after weaning, but might be more effective when administered before weaning. In this period, feed additives can either be administered directly to neonates, or indirectly via sows feed. It is yet unknown what the effect of the administration route is on gut functionality and health. Therefore, we compared the effect of different dietary interventions on gut functionality after maternal administration (lactation feed) to the neonatal administration route (oral gavage). These feed interventions included medium chain fatty acids (MCFA), beta-glucans (BG), and galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS). We measured intestinal gene expression and microbiota composition after birth (d1) and after weaning (d31). Our results show that the type of intervention and the administration route influence gut functionality (microbiome and gene expression profiles). MCFA administration led to a more differentially orchestrated response when comparing the neonatal and maternal administration route then the other two additives, indicating the route of administration of the feed interventions is determinative for the outcome.. This implies that for each nutritional intervention in early life of a pig the optimal route of administration needs to be determined.
Date made available17 Apr 2023
PublisherWageningen University & Research


  • microbiota
  • pig

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