Sanitary Conditions on the Farm Alters Fecal Metabolite Profile in Growing Pigs

Soumya K. Kar*, Marinus F.W. Te Pas, Leo Kruijt, Jacques J.M. Vervoort, Alfons J.M. Jansman, Dirkjan Schokker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to use fecal metabolite profiling to evaluate the effects of contrasting sanitary conditions and the associated subclinical health status of pigs. We analyzed fecal metabolite profiles by nuclear magnetic resonance (1 H NMR) from pigs aged 14 and 22 weeks. Pigs kept under low and high sanitary conditions differed in fecal metabolites related to the degradation of dietary starch, metabolism of the gut microbiome, and degradation of components of animal (host) origin. The metabolites that differed significantly (FDR < 0.1) were from metabolic processes involved in either maintaining nutrient digestive capacity, including purine metabolism, energy metabolism, bile acid breakdown and recycling, or immune system metabolism. The results show that the fecal metabolite profiles reflect the sanitary conditions under which the pigs are kept. The fecal metabolite profiles closely resembled the profiles of metabolites found in the colon of pigs. Fecal valerate and kynurenic acid could potentially be used as “non-invasive” biomarkers of immune or inflammatory status that could form the basis for monitoring subclinical health status in pigs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number538
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • feces
  • health
  • immune
  • metabolomics
  • nuclear magnetic resonance
  • pig


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