Probiotic Lactobacillus johnsonii BS15 Promotes Growth Performance, Intestinal Immunity, and Gut Microbiota in Piglets

  • Jinge Xin
  • Dong Zeng
  • Hesong Wang
  • Ning Sun
  • Ying Zhao
  • Yan Dan
  • Kangcheng Pan
  • Bo Jing
  • Xueqin NiEmail author


Numerous studies have investigated the beneficial effects of Lactobacillus johnsonii strain BS15 on mice and broilers. This study aimed to understand the growth-promoting effects of BS15 on piglets. We determined the effects of L. johnsonii BS15 and a commercial probiotic strain, Bacillus subtilis JS01. Seventy-two suckling piglets (1 ± 2-day-old) were divided into three groups and fed with diets supplemented with 1 × 106 colony-forming units (cfu) BS15 per gram of feed (BS15 group); 1 × 106 cfu JS01 per gram of feed (JS01 group); or de Man, Rogosa, and Sharpe liquid medium (control group) 35 days. Compared with JS01, BS15 significantly improved the daily weight gain and diarrhea index of the piglets. The BS15 group had higher fecal sIgA levels, whereas the JS01 group had high fecal sIgA levels only after 35 days of treatment. Additionally, BS15 altered T cell subsets in peripheral blood by significantly increasing the CD3+CD4+ T cell percentage and CD3+CD4+/CD3+CD8+ ratio and decreasing the CD3+CD8+ T cell percentage. Moreover, BS15 exerted better beneficial effects on fecal microbiota than JS01. Specifically, the BS15 group had markedly increased Clostridium, Peptococcus, and Lactobacillus populations on days 7 and 21 of treatment and reduced Escherichia coli populations on day 35 of treatment. These findings indicated that BS15 can be applied as a probiotic that promotes growth performance and controls diarrhea in piglets.


T cell subsets Lactobacillus johnsonii Intestinal immunity Probiotic Piglet 



This study was supported by the International Cooperative Project of Science and Technology Bureau of Sichuan Province (2018HH0103), as well as the Science and Technology Support Project of Science and Technology Bureau of Sichuan Province (2014FZ0076). Both funding bodies provided funding support for the animal purchase and index determination.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

All animal experiments were performed in accordance with the guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee of Sichuan Agricultural University (approval number, SYXKchuan2014-187).

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jinge Xin
    • 1
  • Dong Zeng
    • 1
  • Hesong Wang
    • 1
  • Ning Sun
    • 1
  • Ying Zhao
    • 1
  • Yan Dan
    • 2
  • Kangcheng Pan
    • 1
  • Bo Jing
    • 1
  • Xueqin Ni
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Veterinary MedicineSichuan Agricultural UniversityChengduChina
  2. 2.Chongqing Fishery Sciences Research InstituteChongqingChina

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