Type: Chapter

Microbiological services delivered by the pig gut microbiome


James T. Cullen

Waterford Institute of Technology (Ireland)

Peadar Lawlor

Teagasc Moorepark (Ireland)

Gillian E. Gardiner

Waterford Institute of Technology (Ireland)

Publication date:

10 January 2022

ID: 9781801463638

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The gut microbiome plays a fundamental role in regulating pig health and growth. Understanding the functions performed by the microbiome is vital when considering it as a target to improve pig health and growth, a pursuit driven by the increasing regulation of traditional means of disease control and growth promotion. This chapter explores the structure, diversity and functions of the pig gut microbiome, focusing on the role of the resident bacterial communities. It examines their relationships, interactions, and contributions to the host, ranging from the production of antimicrobial substances and prevention of pathogen colonisation to improvement of nutrient digestibility and the production of volatile fatty acids (VFAs) and vitamins. The chapter also reviews bacterial communication and the antibiotic resistome of the pig gut, outlining how they may be targeted/manipulated to reduce antibiotic resistance and promote improved gut health.

Table of contents

1 Introduction
2 Pig gut microbiome: abundance and diversity
3 Colonisation resistance
4 Production of antimicrobial substances
5 Production of enzymes
6 Benefits of volatile fatty acids (apart from antimicrobial activity)
7 Production of vitamins
8 Quorum sensing and manipulation
9 Antibiotic resistance genes
10 Conclusion
11 Where to look for further information
12 References