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Investigating the Effects of a Phytobiotics-Based Product on the Fecal Bacterial Microbiome of Weaned Pigs

By June 7, 2023June 7th, 2024No Comments

Maintaining gut health during the weaning period remains a major challenge for swine producers. Phytobiotics, which are plant-derived bioactive products for use as supplements in food animals, have shown great promise in helping to stabilize the gut environment of weaned pigs, but their mechanisms of action remain unclear.

Key Findings

Pig Growth and Fecal Scores

All control and treatment pigs survived and gained weight during the trial period. No major qualitative differences in fecal scores were observed between pens during the first 11 days of the trial, with only one incidence of diarrhea (observed in the control pen) during this period.

Taxonomic Composition Analysis of Fecal Bacterial Communities

A total of 1,532,519 quality filtered sequence reads were used for the composition analysis. Four predominant phyla were identified: Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, and Synergistetes. Firmicutes were the most abundant phylum, showing increasing relative abundance from day 1 to day 21. Notable findings include:

  • Lactobacillaceae and Peptostreptococcaceae were higher in the supplemented group at day 4.
  • Streptococcaceae were significantly lower in the treated group at days 10 and 21.
  • Erysipelotrichaceae were lower and Veillonellaceae were higher in the treated samples at day 10.

OTU Composition Analysis of Fecal Bacterial Communities

A total of 15,996 OTUs were identified across all samples. Significant changes in the bacterial communities were observed over time, particularly:

  • Nine OTUs increased from day 1 to day 21, including Ssd-00039, Ssd-00048, and Ssd-00188.
  • Seven OTUs decreased over time, such as Ssd-00007, Ssd-01244, and Ssd-01334.


The study indicated that supplementation with the phytobiotics-based product LiveXtract had a positive impact on the gut microbiome of weaned pigs. Key observations include:

  • Increased abundance of beneficial bacteria, such as Lactobacillus species.
  • Reduction in Proteobacteria, which include many opportunistic pathogens.
  • Potential benefits in maintaining a metabolic balance between lactate production and utilization.


The results suggest that phytobiotic supplementation could help maintain gut microbial balance and stability in weaned pigs, mitigating the onset of dysbiosis. These findings continue to inspire PhytoCare’s commitment to developing scientifically-backed products for animal health.

For more detailed information, please refer to the full research paper here.