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Open Access Open Badges Original article

Influence of Cereal Non-Starch Polysaccharides on Ileo-Caecal and Rectal Microbial Populations in Growing Pigs

Ann Högberg1*, Jan Erik Lindberg1, Thomas Leser2 and Per Wallgren34

  • * Corresponding author: Ann Högberg

Author Affiliations

1 Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Dep. of Animal Nutrition and Management, Uppsala

2 Danish Institute for Food and Veterinary Research, Copenhagen, Denmark

3 National Veterinary Institute, Uppsala

4 Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Dep. of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden

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Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 2004, 45:87-98  doi:10.1186/1751-0147-45-87

Published: 30 June 2004


The effect of cereal non-starch polysaccharides (NSP) on the gut microbial populations was studied in 5 growing pigs between 39–116 kg body weight according to a Latin square design. The diets were composed to contain different NSP levels. The control diet had a normal NSP content (139 g/kg dry matter (DM)), 2 diets had a low total amount of NSP (95 and 107 g/kg DM) and 2 diets had a high amount of total NSP (191 and 199 g/kg DM). Furthermore, one of the diets within each category had a content of insoluble NSP similar to the control diet and one had a high content of insoluble NSP. Samples were collected from the ileum, via intestinal post valve T-caecum (PVTC) cannulas surgically inserted at the ileo-caecal ostium, and from the rectum. The total microbial flora of the ileal samples were analysed for by defining base pair length with terminal restriction fraction length polymorphism (T-RFLP). The microbial diversity of the coliform flora of the ileal and rectal samples were defined by biochemical fingerprinting. It was observed that many terminal restriction fragments (TRFs) disappeared when new diets were introduced and that some characteristic TRFs were found in the high and low NSP diets, respectively. Both the total gut microflora and the coliform flora were influenced by the dietary NSP content.

pig; microbial diversity; coliform; ileum; rectum; cereal; non-starch polysaccharides Short title: Cereal NSP and gut microflora