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Microbiome Research in Piglets Applicable to Other Species and Crops

Research conducted on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc that has shown the use of alternative feed supplements to modulate the microbiota in the gut of the piglet can stimulate weight gain and improve health has implications for other species and crops.

As part of research conducted by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in partnership with several Canadian universities with funding from Swine Innovation Porc, scientists have been evaluating the response of the piglet microbiome to alternative feeding supplements.

Dr. Etienne Yergeau, an Associate Professor with the University of Quebec, says some changes were observed in the microbiota and there were also changes in piglet weight gain they were not as large as the control that used antibiotic supplements.

Clip-Dr. Etienne Yergeau-University of Quebec:

This project was very exciting in the sense that we were able to modulate a little bit the microbiota.It shows that this is something that could be done to replace the use of antibiotics as a growth supplement.How can we apply that?

I think it's more conceptually, how we can try to modify the microbiota for the benefit of the host.Of course, most people are interested in a human host but it's also something that would be done in farm animals and also in my laboratory, we're very interested in crops. That's something also, how can we change the microbiota?

I think the results we have in this study are showing that it can be done and it's not something impossible.Now we need to dig more to find if we can apply that to other animals and eventually to humans also.The question is, is there some food supplement that would act directly on the microbiota and have a more beneficial microbiota?

Dr. Yergeau says this work shows there are other ways to get the result of the antibiotics without having the side effect of antibiotic resistance.

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