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In a feeding trial with piglets and the monoenzyme xylanase, the Lactobacillus spp. population in jejunal segments was analyzed in detail. Using 16S rRNA targeted probes it was shown that the total Lactobacillus spp. rRNA differed only slightly between control- and enzyme supplemented trial group. However, the relation of single Lactobacillus sp. strains differed drastically. Especially L. reuteri was able to increase its proportion to up to 80% at the expense of all other detected Lactobacillus spp.
In a similar feeding trial, the above mentioned monoenzyme as well as a multienzyme preparation were able to reduce the jejunal viscosity, however viscosity in the colon was only reduced in animals fed the monoenzyme supplemented group. Both enzyme preparations reduced the Lactobacillus spp. cell count in the stomach and in the jejunum. Compared to the control group, total conjugated acids tended to be reduced in the multienzyme group (p ≤ 0.091), but were increased in the monoenzyme group (p ≤ 0.081). Similarily, total deconjugated bile acids were lowest in the monoenzyme group. No differences for total deconjugated bile acids were noted between the control- and multienzyme group. The ratios of conjugated to deconjugated bile acids were similar between control and multienzyme group, but the monoenzyme group showed ratios indicating a surplus of conjugated bile acids.
In conclusion, the supplementation of NSP - hydrolyzing enzymes to cereal based diets modifies the small intestinal microbiota depending on their characteristics and substrate specificity. Although the general principle of viscosity reduction applies to all bacteria, the generation of specific substrates by different enzymes may lead to different responses by the intestinal microbiota.