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Effect of transportation on fecal bacterial communities and fermentative activities in horses: Impact of Saccharomyces cerevisiae CNCM I-1077 supplementation

Abstract : This study evaluated the effect of transportation on fecal bacterial communities and activities in horses with or without supplementation of live yeast and attempted to link those effects with changes in blood stress markers. Four mature horses were assigned to a crossover design and fed a basal diet (60:40 forage to concentrate; 1.45% BW on a DM basis), with or without supplementation, of 2 × 10(10) cfu/d of Saccharomyces cerevisiae CNCM I-1077. After a 14-d adaptation to dietary treatments, the 5-d experiment started 1 d before transportation (d -1). At d 0, horses were simultaneously transported in a truck for 2 h. Feces were sampled 4 h after the morning meal of concentrate at d -1, 0 (immediately after transportation), and 3 for enumeration of the main functional bacterial groups and determination of fermentative variables. Within each dietary treatment, feces were pooled before DNA extraction and molecular analysis of the bacterial communities, using temporal temperature gradient electrophoreses (TTGE). Blood samples were collected at the same time for determination of white blood cells (WBC) counts and glucose and total protein concentrations. Regardless of dietary treatment, the neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio increased during transportation (P < 0.01), indicating that horses were stressed. In both treatments, TTGE profiles were clearly different before and 3 d after transportation, and the percentage of similarity between profiles at d -1 and 3 was greater in supplemented horses compared with the controls. From d 0 to 3, the molar percentage of propionate increased and total concentration of VFA and the acetate + butyrate to propionate ratio decreased, regardless of dietary treatment (P < 0.01, P = 0.02, and P < 0.01, respectively), whereas pH decreased only in control horses (P = 0.03). Regardless of day of sampling, fecal concentrations of lactate-utilizing bacteria and cellulolytic bacteria were greater in supplemented horses than in control horses (P = 0.04 and 0.08, respectively). Our results indicate that transportation for 2 h disturbed the fecal bacterial ecosystem in horses that could increase the risk of triggering microbial dysbiosis on a longer term in the equine large intestine. Supplementing Saccharomyces cerevisiae CNCM I-1077 could help reduce the negative impact of transportation on the fecal bacterial ecosystem.
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Céline Faubladier, Frédérique Chaucheyras Durand, L. da Veiga, Véronique Julliand. Effect of transportation on fecal bacterial communities and fermentative activities in horses: Impact of Saccharomyces cerevisiae CNCM I-1077 supplementation. Journal of Animal Science, American Society of Animal Science, 2013, 91 (4), pp.1736-1744. ⟨10.2527/jas.2012-5720⟩. ⟨hal-02502899⟩

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