Monogastric Gnotobiotic Animals in Studies of the Gastrointestinal Microbiota

Monogastric gnotobiotic animals were also used to study the functional and morphological development of the digestive tract. Nemcova and coworkers (97) studied the colonization ability of selected strains of lactobacilli in the small intestine of gnotobiotic piglets. Studies were also aimed at the effects of lactobacilli on the intestinal metabolism during the first 3 weeks of life (98). The numbers of lactobacilli adhering to the jejunal and ileal mucosa and found in the jejunal and ileal contents were comparable to the data reported by other authors (99,100) in conventional and gnotobiotic piglets. Bomba and coworkers (101) investigated the effect of the inoculation of three Lactobacillus strains upon organic acid levels in the mucosal film and intestinal contents of gnotobiotic pigs. In the jejunum of inoculated animals, the mucosal film revealed significantly increased levels of lactic, propionic and acetic acids when compared to the contents. In the ileum of gnotobiotic pigs propionic acid levels in the mucosal film were significantly higher than those in the contents. The above results suggest that significantly increased levels of the lactobacilli-produced organic acids in the intestinal mucosal film may present an efficient barrier to inhibit the adherence of digestive tract pathogens to the intestinal mucosa.

Gnotobiotic animals present a very good model to determine bacterial interactions in the digestive tract. The interactions of lactobacilli and enterotoxigenic E. coli in the intestinal tract of gnotobiotic piglets were observed by Bomba and coworkers (80). In experiments carried out in gnotobiotic animals the interest focused on the effects of the microbiota upon morphology, motility, secretion and absorption in the digestive tract (102,103). The use of germ-free, gnotobiotic and conventional animals facilitated considerable progress in the knowledge of the complex ecological system of the gastrointestinal tract in birds (104).

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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