Tel.+49 30 838 52256 Fax.+49 30 838-55938
The aim of this study was to evaluate whether a single administration of two strains of Lactobacillus plantarum (DSMZ 8862 and 8866) either before or at the time point of weaning can influence the intestinal microbiota of piglets. A total of 176 piglets were allocated into five groups: control (LP0), administration of 5 x 10(9) or 5x10(10) cfu at day 25 of life (LP1, LP2) and administration of 5 x 10(9) or 5 x 10(10) cfu at day 28 of life (LP3, LP4). Piglets were weaned on day 28 of life. On day 25 (LP1, LP2), 28 (LP0, LP3, LP4), 33 (all groups) and 39 (all groups) of life, 10-13 animals of each group were killed and genomic DNA was extracted from small and large intestinal contents. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis demonstrated that administration of L. plantarum had a significant effect in GIT microbial communities as revealed by the Simpson's index of diversity and cluster analysis based on the Dice similarity index; this effect was more pronounced in groups LP3 and LP4. A treatment dependent presence of Clostridium glycolicum-like, Lactobacillus sobrius-like, Eubacterium rectale-like and Roseburia faecalis-like phylotypes was observed. The results show that the administration of L. plantarum at the point of weaning can influence gastrointestinal microbiota in weaning piglets which may have positive results on gastrointestinal health.