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1.  Changing Dietary Calcium-Phosphorus Level and Cereal Source Selectively Alters Abundance of Bacteria and Metabolites in the Upper Gastrointestinal Tracts of Weaned Pigs 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2013;79(23):7264-7272.
Several dietary ingredients may affect the bacterial community structure and metabolism in the porcine gut and may therefore influence animals' health and performance. This study investigated the effects of cereal source and calcium-phosphorus (CaP) level in the diet on bacterial microbiota and metabolites, nutrient intake, and gut environment in weaned pigs. Pigs (n = 8/treatment) were fed wheat-barley- or corn-based diets with an adequate or high CaP level for 14 days. Effects on microbiota in the stomach, ileum, and midcolon were assessed using quantitative PCR. Data showed that Enterobacteriaceae, Campylobacter spp., and Helicobacter spp., which all contain highly immune reactive lipopolysaccharide (LPS), were abundant at all gut sites. Diet effects on bacteria and metabolites were moderate and occurred mainly in the upper gut, whereas no effects on bacteria, fermentation products, and LPS could be observed in the colon. Differences in carbohydrate intake with corn versus wheat-barley diets selectively stimulated Bifidobacterium in the stomach and ileum. There was a growth advantage for a few bacterial groups in the stomach and ileum of pigs fed the high versus adequate CaP level (i.e., gastric Enterobacteriaceae and ileal Enterococcus, Bacteroides-Prevotella-Porphyromonas, and Campylobacter). Interestingly, gastrointestinal pH was not affected by dietary CaP level. The present findings demonstrate the stability of the bacterial community and gut environment toward dietary changes even in young pigs. The results on stimulation of gastric and ileal Bifidobacterium by corn diets may be employed in nutritional strategies to support gut health after weaning.
doi:10.1128/AEM.02691-13
PMCID: PMC3837733  PMID: 24038702
2.  Mucosa-Associated Bacterial Microbiome of the Gastrointestinal Tract of Weaned Pigs and Dynamics Linked to Dietary Calcium-Phosphorus 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e86950.
Dietary composition largely influences pig’s gastrointestinal microbiota and represents a useful prophylactic tool against enteric disturbances in young pigs. Despite the importance for host-microbe interactions and bacterial colonization, dietary responses of the mucosa-associated bacterial communities are less well investigated. In the present study, we characterized the mucosa-associated bacterial communities at the Pars non-glandularis of the stomach, ileum and colon, and identified shifts in these communities in response to different dietary calcium-phosphorus (Ca-P) contents (100% versus 190% of the Ca and P requirements) in combination with two basal diets (wheat-barley- or corn-based) in weaned pigs. Pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes from 93 mucosal samples yielded 447,849 sequences, clustering into 997 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) at 97% similarity level. OTUs were assigned to 198 genera belonging to 14 different phyla. Correlation-based networks revealed strong interactions among OTUs at the various gastrointestinal sites. Our data describe a previously not reported high diversity and species richness at the Pars non-glandularis of the stomach in weaned pigs. Moreover, high versus adequate Ca-P content significantly promoted Lactobacillus by 14.9% units (1.4 fold change) at the gastric Pars non-glandularis (P = 0.035). Discriminant analysis revealed dynamic changes in OTU composition in response to dietary cereals and Ca-P contents at all gastrointestinal sites which were less distinguishable at higher taxonomic levels. Overall, this study revealed a distinct mucosa-associated bacterial community at the different gut sites, and a strong effect of high Ca-P diets on the gastric community, thereby markedly expanding our comprehension on mucosa-associated microbiota and their diet-related dynamics in weaned pigs.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0086950
PMCID: PMC3900689  PMID: 24466298
3.  Evaluation of the endotoxin binding efficiency of clay minerals using the Limulus Amebocyte lysate test: an in vitro study 
AMB Express  2014;4:1.
Endotoxins are part of the cell wall of Gram-negative bacteria. They are potent immune stimulators and can lead to death if present in high concentrations. Feed additives, which bind endotoxins in the gastrointestinal tract of animals, could help to prevent their negative impact. The objective of our study was to determine the potential of a bentonite (Bentonite 1), a sodium bentonite (Bentonite 2), a chemically treated smectite (Organoclay 1) and a modified attapulgite (Organoclay 2) to bind endotoxins in vitro. Polymyxin B served as positive control. The kinetic chromogenic Limulus Amebocyte lysate test was adapted to measure endotoxin activity. Firstly, a single sorption experiment (10 endotoxin units/mL (EU/mL)) was performed. Polymyxin B and organoclays showed 100% binding efficiency. Secondly, the adsorption efficiency of sorbents in aqueous solution with increasing endotoxin concentrations (2,450 – 51,700 EU/mL) was investigated. Organoclay 1 (0.1%) showed a good binding efficiency in aqueous solution (average 81%), whereas Bentonite 1 (0.1%) obtained a lower binding efficiency (21-54%). The following absorbent capacities were calculated in highest endotoxin concentration: 5.59 mg/g (Organoclay 1) > 3.97 mg/g (Polymyxin B) > 2.58mg/g (Organoclay 2) > 1.55 mg/g (Bentonite 1) > 1.23 mg/g (Bentonite 2). Thirdly, a sorption experiment in artificial intestinal fluid was conducted. Especially for organoclays, which are known to be unspecific adsorbents, the endotoxin binding capacity was significantly reduced. In contrast, Bentonite 1 showed comparable results in artificial intestinal fluid and aqueous solution. Based on the results of this in vitro study, the effect of promising clay minerals will be investigated in in vivo trials.
doi:10.1186/2191-0855-4-1
PMCID: PMC3901786  PMID: 24383578
Endotoxin; Lipopolysaccharide; Bentonite; Organoclay; Binding; Isotherm; LAL test; Feed additive
4.  CD27 expression discriminates porcine T helper cells with functionally distinct properties 
Veterinary Research  2013;44(1):18.
Differentiation of porcine T helper cells is still poorly investigated, partly due to a lack of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) specific for molecules involved in this process. Recently, we identified a mAb specific for porcine CD27 and showed that CD27 is expressed by all naïve CD8α- T helper cells but divides CD8α+ T helper cells into a CD27+ and a CD27- subset. In the present study, detailed phenotypical and functional analyses of these T-helper cell subpopulations were performed. Naïve CD8α-CD27+ T helper cells predominantly resided in various lymph nodes, whereas higher proportions of CD8α+CD27+ and CD8α+CD27- T helper cells were found in blood, spleen and liver. Both CD8α+CD27+ and CD8α+CD27- T helper cells were capable of producing IFN-γ upon in vitro polyclonal stimulation and antigen-specific restimulation. Experiments with sorted CD8α-CD27+, CD8α+CD27+ and CD8α+CD27- T-helper cell subsets following polyclonal stimulation revealed the lowest proliferative response but the highest ability for IFN-γ and TNF-α production in the CD8α+CD27- subset. Therefore, these cells resembled terminally differentiated effector memory cells as described in human. This was supported by analyses of CCR7 and CD62L expression. CD8α+CD27- T helper cells were mostly CCR7- and had considerably reduced CD62L mRNA levels. In contrast, expression of both homing-receptors was increased on CD8α+CD27+ T helper cells, which also had a proliferation rate similar to naïve CD8α-CD27+ T helper cells and showed intermediate levels of cytokine production. Therefore, similar to human, CD8α+CD27+ T helper cells displayed a phenotype and functional properties of central memory cells.
doi:10.1186/1297-9716-44-18
PMCID: PMC3610194  PMID: 23497134
5.  Metabolism of the masked mycotoxin deoxynivalenol-3-glucoside in rats 
Toxicology Letters  2012;213(3):367-373.
Highlights
► The metabolism of deoxynivalenol-3-glucoside (D3G) in rats was studied. ► Urine and feces were analyzed by a validated LC–MS/MS biomarker method. ► D3G was readily hydrolyzed to deoxynivalenol (DON) during digestion. ► Most D3G was metabolized by the gut microbiota and recovered in feces. ► D3G is of considerably lower toxicological relevance than DON, at least in rats.
Deoxynivalenol-3-β-d-glucoside (D3G), a plant metabolite of the Fusarium mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON), might be hydrolyzed in the digestive tract of mammals, thus contributing to the total dietary DON exposure of individuals. Yet, D3G has not been considered in regulatory limits set for DON for foodstuffs due to the lack of in vivo data. The aim of our study was to evaluate whether D3G is reactivated in vivo by investigation of its metabolism in rats. Six Sprague-Dawley rats received water, DON (2.0 mg/kg body weight (b.w.)) and the equimolar amount of D3G (3.1 mg/kg b.w.) by gavage on day 1, 8 and 15, respectively. Urine and feces were collected for 48 h and analyzed for D3G, DON, deoxynivalenol-glucuronide (DON-GlcA) and de-epoxy deoxynivalenol (DOM-1) by a validated LC–tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) based biomarker method. After administration of D3G, only 3.7 ± 0.7% of the given dose were found in urine in the form of analyzed analytes, compared to 14.9 ± 5.0% after administration of DON, and only 0.3 ± 0.1% were detected in the form of urinary D3G. The majority of administered D3G was recovered as DON and DOM-1 in feces. These results suggest that D3G is little bioavailable, hydrolyzed to DON during digestion, and partially converted to DOM-1 and DON-GlcA prior to excretion. Our data indicate that D3G is of considerably lower toxicological relevance than DON, at least in rats.
doi:10.1016/j.toxlet.2012.07.024
PMCID: PMC3448059  PMID: 22884771
D3G, deoxynivalenol-3-β-d-glucoside; DON, deoxynivalenol; JECFA, Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives; DOM-1, de-epoxy deoxynivalenol; DON-GlcA, deoxynivalenol-glucuronide; DOM-1-GlcA, DOM-1-glucuronide; b.w., body weight; SPE, solid phase extraction; MeOH, methanol; ACN, acetonitrile; HPLC, high performance liquid chromatography; MS, mass spectrometry; MS/MS, tandem mass spectrometry; SRM, selected reaction monitoring; DP, declustering potential; CE, collision energy; RA, apparent recovery; SSE, signal suppression/enhancement; RE, recovery of the extraction step; LOD, limit of detection; LOQ, limit of quantification; Z14G, zearalenone-14-β-d-glucoside; Deoxynivalenol; Conjugated mycotoxins; ADME; Urine; Feces; Rodent
6.  Antibodies to actin in autoimmune haemolytic anaemia 
Background
In autoimmune haemolytic anaemia (AIHA), autoreactive antibodies directed against red blood cells are up-regulated, leading to erythrocyte death. Mycoplasma suis infections in pigs induce AIHA of both the warm and cold types. The aim of this study was to identify the target autoantigens of warm autoreactive IgG antibodies. Sera from experimentally M. suis-infected pigs were screened for autoreactivity.
Results
Actin-reactive antibodies were found in the sera of 95% of all animals tested. The reactivity was species-specific, i.e. reactivity with porcine actin was significantly higher than with rabbit actin. Sera of animals previously immunised with the M. suis adhesion protein MSG1 showed reactivity with actin prior to infection with M. suis indicating that molecular mimicry is involved in the specific autoreactive mechanism. A potentially cross-reactive epitope was detected.
Conclusions
This is the first report of autoreactive anti-actin antibodies involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune haemolytic anaemia.
doi:10.1186/1746-6148-6-18
PMCID: PMC3003239  PMID: 20353574
7.  Use of Recombinant Antigens To Detect Antibodies against Mycoplasma suis, with Correlation of Serological Results to Hematological Findings▿  
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology : CVI  2007;14(12):1616-1622.
Porcine eperythrozoonosis is a disease with worldwide distribution caused by the unculturable hemotrophic bacterium Mycoplasma suis. Current serological testing utilizes crude M. suis antigens purified from the blood of experimentally infected pigs. These antigens show high variability and are restricted to specialized laboratories. We evaluated a novel serological assay based on two recombinant M. suis antigens (rMSG1 and rHspA1). Antigen specificity was proven by means of sera raised against nonhemotrophic mycoplasma and other relevant bacteria. Using experimental and convalescent-phase sera, rMSG1 and rHspA1 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) demonstrated sensitivities, specificities, and predictive values (94.0 to 100.0%) equal to or higher than those of the M. suis whole-cell ELISA. Field samples from 120 weaning piglets grouped by quantitative PCR results were used to evaluate the diagnostic capability of the new ELISA systems in comparison to that of the whole-cell ELISA. Assuming a 100.0% specificity of the PCR, the whole-cell ELISA, rHspA1 ELISA, and rMSG1 ELISA showed specificities of 84.8%, 83.8%, and 90.6% and sensitivities of 61.5%, 74.0% and 58.1%, respectively. Cohen's kappa coefficients comparing the recombinant ELISAs to the whole-cell ELISA indicate moderate to substantial agreement. The detection of anti-MSG1 and/or anti-HspA1 antibodies in pigs was significantly correlated with decreased hematocrit, erythrocyte numbers, and hemoglobin concentrations, indicating that a single seropositive result is connected with clinical and etiological significance. In conclusion, rMSG1 and rHspA1 are sensitive and specific serological and infection markers which are for the first time used independently of animal experiments. They are especially fit to be used in routine diagnosis, pathogenesis studies, and large-scale epidemiological investigations.
doi:10.1128/CVI.00345-07
PMCID: PMC2168379  PMID: 17942612

Results 1-7 (7)