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Published Articles from USDA ARS National Program 108: Food Safety
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Title: Butyrate-producing bacteria, including mucin degraders, from the swine intestinal tract
Authors: Levine UY, Looft TP, Allen HK, Stanton TB
Journal: Appl Environ Microbiol
Accepted date: 2013 Mar 21
Interpretive summary: Butyrate is a beneficial compound produced by bacteria in the gut that has been shown to promote good health in humans. Similar health benefits are likely occuring in other animals from butyrate, but most research has been focused on the human gut. To gain a better understanding of the butyrate-producing bacteria in pigs, the research reported here found 15 bacteria from the pig digestive system that produce butyrate. Five of the 15 bacteria are newly identified species, and some of the other bacteria have rarely been recovered from humans or other animals. Tests for butyrate production found activity in all of the 15 bacteria, but the gene responsible for the activity could only be found in five of the bacteria. This demonstrates a need to improve the standard method to finding the gene. Three of the 15 butyrate-producing bacteria were found to break down mucin, compounds produced by host cells that line the gut. It is thought that the ability to degrade mucin allows a bacterium to live close to host cells, and we theorize that a mucin-degrading butyrate-producing bacteria that live close to host cells could greatly influence host health. This research will lead to new investigations of the butyrate-producing bacteria in swine, and hopefully lead to improvements in swine health to the benefit of both the consumer and the farmer.
Publication date: 2013 Jun
Volume: 79
Pages: 3879-81