Effects of Bacillus subtilis KN-42 on Growth Performance, Diarrhea and Faecal Bacterial Flora of Weaned Piglets

  • Hu, Yuanliang (State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, College of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University) ;
  • Dun, Yaohao (State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, College of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University) ;
  • Li, Shenao (State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, College of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University) ;
  • Zhao, Shumiao (State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, College of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University) ;
  • Peng, Nan (State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, College of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University) ;
  • Liang, Yunxiang (State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, College of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University)
  • Received : 2013.11.21
  • Accepted : 2014.03.25
  • Published : 2014.08.01


This research focused on the effects of different doses of Bacillus subtilis KN-42 on the growth performance, diarrhea incidence, faecal bacterial flora, and the relative number of Lactobacillus and Escherichia coli in faeces of weaned piglets to determine whether the strain can serve as a candidate antimicrobial growth promoter. A total of 360 piglets (initial body weight $7.14{\pm}0.63$ kg) weaned at $26{\pm}2$ days of age were randomly allotted to 5 treatment groups (4 pens per treatment with 18 pigs per pen) for a 28-day trial. Dietary treatments were basal diet without any antimicrobial (negative control; NC), basal diet supplemented with 120 mg/kg feed of neomycin sulfate (positive control; PC) and basal diet supplemented with $2{\times}10^9$ (L), $4{\times}10^9$ (M) and $20{\times}10^9$ (H) CFU/kg feed of B. subtilis KN-42. During the overall period, average daily gain and feed efficiency of piglets were higher in groups PC, M, and H than those in group NC (p<0.05), and all probiotics and antibiotics groups had a lower diarrhea index than group NC (p<0.05). The 16S rDNA gene-based methods were used to analyze faecal bacterial flora on day 28 of experiment. The result of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis showed that supplementation of B. subtilis KN-42 to the diet changed the bacterial communities, with a higher bacterial diversity and band number in group M than in the other four groups. Real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis showed that the relative number of Lactobacillus were higher in groups PC and H than in group NC (p<0.05), and the supplemented B. subtilis KN-42 to the diet also reduced the relative number of E. coli (p<0.05). These results suggest that dietary addition of B. subtilis KN-42 can improve the growth performance and gastrointestinal health of piglets.


Bacillus subtilis;Bacterial Community;Diarrhea;Growth Performance;Lactobacillus;Weaned Piglets


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