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Topical Application of Adult Caecal Contents to Eggs Transplants Spore-Forming Microbiota but Not Other Members of the Microbiota to Chicks

Abstract : The intestinal microbiota plays an essential role in the metabolism and immune competence of chickens from the first day after hatching. In modern production systems, chicks are isolated from adult chickens, instead hatching in a clean environment. As a result, chicks are colonized by environmental bacteria, including potential pathogens. There is a need to investigate methods by which chicks can be exposed to a more appropriate microbial community at hatching. Such methods must be easy to apply in a hatchery and produce consistent results. The development of the intestinal microbiota of chicks hatched from eggs sprayed with dilute adult cecal content during incubation was observed at 0, 3, 7, and 14 days posthatching (dph) across two experiments. High-throughput Illumina sequencing was performed for the V4 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA gene. A topical treatment of dilute adult cecal content was sufficient to transplant spore-forming bacteria such as Lachnospiraceae and Ruminococcaceae. However, this treatment was not able to transplant other taxa that are considered to be core elements of the chicken cecal microbiota, such as Bacteroidaceae, Lactobacillaceae, Bifidobacteriaceae, and Burkholderiaceae. The topical treatment significantly altered the microbiota of chicks immediately posthatching and accelerated the normal development of the microbiota with earlier colonization by Ruminococcaceae in the cecum and “Candidatus Arthromitus” in the ileum. The effect of the treatment on the cecal microbiota was maximal at 3 dph but diminished over time.
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Submitted on : Thursday, July 9, 2020 - 4:17:12 PM
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Peter Richards, Gail Leeming, Jo Fothergill, Marion Bernardeau, Paul Wigley. Topical Application of Adult Caecal Contents to Eggs Transplants Spore-Forming Microbiota but Not Other Members of the Microbiota to Chicks. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, American Society for Microbiology, 2019, 86 (5), pp.e02387-19. ⟨10.1128/AEM.02387-19⟩. ⟨hal-02467355⟩

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