Lactobacillus reuteri KT260178 Supplementation Reduced Morbidity of Piglets Through Its Targeted Colonization, Improvement of Cecal Microbiota Profile, and Immune Functions

  • Jiajun Yang
  • Chonglong WangEmail author
  • Linqing Liu
  • Minhong Zhang


Supplementing suckling piglets with Lactobacillus reuteri isolated from a homologous source improves L. reuteri colonization number in the gastrointestinal tract, which can have health benefits. This study investigated dietary L. reuteri supplementation on the growth and health—including immune status—of piglets, as well as its colonization. A total of 60 sows with similar parity and body weight were allocated into one of three groups after secretion (n = 20 each, with 10 neonatal piglets of each): untreated control, L. reuteri supplementation, and antibiotic treatment. The experimental duration was 28 days, from birth of piglets to their group transferred. For the first 7 days after birth, all neonatal piglets were fed by sows. Piglets in the L. reuteri supplementation group were administered with 1.0 ml L. reuteri fermentation broth containing 5.0 × 107 CFU. From 7 to 28 days, piglets were given basal feed (control), basal feed supplemented with L. reuteri (1.0 × 107 CFU/g), or aureomycin (150 mg/kg). L. reuteri colonization in the distal jejunum and ileum was increased in piglets in the L. reuteri-supplemented as compared to the control group after 28 days, as determined by fluorescence in situ hybridization and real-time PCR analysis. Total Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium counts in the cecum were higher whereas total aerobic bacteria (Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus) counts were lower in the L. reuteri as compared to the control group. L. reuteri supplementation also improved body antioxidant status and immune function relative to control animals. Strain-specific L. reuteri administered to piglets colonizes the intestinal mucosa and improves cecal microbiota profile and whole-body antioxidant and immune status, leading to better growth and lower morbidity and mortality rates.


Lactobacillus reuteri Strain-specific Piglet Colonization Nutrition 


Author Contributions

JY designed the study, isolated and cultured L. reuteri yjj, fed the piglets and recorded the growth data, wrote the paper, established the qRT-PCR assay; LL and CW measured the mRNA levels, and HZ was involved in technical direction. CW and MZ had primary responsibility for the final content.

Funding Information

The work was sponsored by the fund of Anhui Academy of Agricultural Sciences Key Laboratory Project (No.:18S0404), natural science foundation of Anhui province (No. 1708085QC72), State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition (No. 2004D125184f1703), and Anhui Science and Technology Key Project (No. 17030701008) and Key Laboratory of Safety.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. The experimental guidelines, the treatment, housing, and husbandry conditions conformed to Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee of China. The experimental protocols in this study including animal husbandry and slaughter were approved by the Institution of Animal Science and Welfare of Anhui Province (no. IASWAP20170685).

Consent for Publication

All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Competing Interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Institute of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary MedicineAnhui Academy of Agricultural SciencesHefeiChina
  2. 2.Anhui Province Key Laboratory of Livestock and Poultry Product Safety EngineeringAnhui Academy of Agriculture ScienceHefeiChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Pig Molecular Quantitative Genetics, Institute of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary MedicineAnhui Academy of Agricultural SciencesHefeiChina
  4. 4.State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, Institute of Animal SciencesChinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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