Effect of commercially purified deoxynivalenol and zearalenone mycotoxins on microbial diversity of pig cecum contents

  • Reddy, Kondreddy Eswar (Animal Nutrition and Physiology Team, National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration) ;
  • Kim, Minji (Animal Nutrition and Physiology Team, National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration) ;
  • Kim, Ki Hyun (Animal Nutrition and Physiology Team, National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration) ;
  • Ji, Sang Yun (Animal Nutrition and Physiology Team, National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration) ;
  • Baek, Youlchang (Animal Nutrition and Physiology Team, National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration) ;
  • Chun, Ju Lan (Animal Nutrition and Physiology Team, National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration) ;
  • Jung, Hyun Jung (Animal Nutrition and Physiology Team, National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration) ;
  • Choe, Changyong (Division of Animal Disease and Health, National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration) ;
  • Lee, Hyun Jeong (Animal Nutrition and Physiology Team, National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration) ;
  • Kim, Minseok (Animal Nutrition and Physiology Team, National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration) ;
  • Lee, Sung Dae (Animal Nutrition and Physiology Team, National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration)
  • Received : 2020.03.03
  • Accepted : 2020.04.27
  • Published : 2021.02.01


Objective: Deoxynivalenol (DON) and zearalenone (ZEN) are mycotoxins that frequently contaminate maize and grain cereals, imposing risks to the health of both humans and animals and leading to economic losses. The gut microbiome has been shown to help combat the effects of such toxins, with certain microorganisms reported to contribute significantly to the detoxification process. Methods: We examined the cecum contents of three different dietary groups of pigs (control, as well as diets contaminated with 8 mg DON/kg feed or 0.8 mg ZEN/kg feed). Bacterial 16S rRNA gene amplicons were acquired from the cecum contents and evaluated by next-generation sequencing. Results: A total of 2,539,288 sequences were generated with ~500 nucleotide read lengths. Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, and Proteobacteria were the dominant phyla, occupying more than 96% of all three groups. Lactobacillus, Bacteroides, Megasphaera, and Campylobacter showed potential as biomarkers for each group. Particularly, Lactobacillus and Bacteroides were more abundant in the DON and ZEN groups than in the control. Additionally, 52,414 operational taxonomic units were detected in the three groups; those of Bacteroides, Lactobacillus, Campylobacter, and Prevotella were most dominant and significantly varied between groups. Hence, contamination of feed by DON and ZEN affected the cecum microbiota, while Lactobacillus and Bacteroides were highly abundant and positively influenced the host physiology. Conclusion: Lactobacillus and Bacteroides play key roles in the process of detoxification and improving the immune response. We, therefore, believe that these results may be useful for determining whether disturbances in the intestinal microflora, such as the toxic effects of DON and ZEN, can be treated by modulating the intestinal bacterial flora.



This work was carried out with the support of the Cooperative Research Program for Agriculture Science & Technology Development (Project No. PJ01093202) and the 2017 RDA Fellowship Program of the National Institute of Animal Sciences, Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea.


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