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Probiotics shown to change bacterial community structure in the avian gastrointestinal tract

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Trudy Netherwood, Emeritus Professor Harry Gilbert, Professor Anthony O'Donnell


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Culturing and molecular techniques were used to monitor changes in the bacterial flora of the avian gastrointestinal (GI) tract following introduction of genetically modified (GM) and unmodified probiotics, Community hybridization of amplified 16S ribosomal DNA demonstrated that the bacterial flora of the GI tract changed significantly in response to the probiotic treatments. The changes were not detected by culturing. Although both GM and non-GM strains of Enterococcus faecium NCIMB 11508 changed the bacterial flora of the chicken GI tract, they did so differently. Probing the community DNA with an Enterococcus faecalis-specific probe showed that the relative amount of E. faecalis in the total eubacterial population increased in the presence of the non-GM strain and decreased in the presence of the GM probiotic compared with the results obtained with an untreated control group.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Netherwood T, Gilbert HJ, Parker DS, O'Donnell AG

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Year: 1999

Volume: 65

Issue: 11

Pages: 5134-5138

Print publication date: 01/11/1999

ISSN (print): 0099-2240

ISSN (electronic): 1098-5336

Publisher: American Society for Microbiology