Authors: Anna Maria Sutera, Francesca Arfuso, Giuseppe Tardiolo, Valentina Riggio, Francesco Fazio, Riccardo Aiese Cigliano, Andreu Paytuví, Giuseppe Piccione and Alessandro Zumbo


  • Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Messina, Polo Universitario dell’Annunziata, Via Palatucci snc, 98168 Messina, Italy
  • The Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush Campus, Edinburgh EH25 9RG, UK
  • Sequentia Biotech SL, Carrer del Dr. Trueta 179, 08005 Barcelona, Spain

Publication: MDPI

Date: May, 2023

Link: Effect of a Co-Feed Liquid Whey-Integrated Diet on Crossbred Pigs’ Fecal Microbiota


This study assessed the potential effect of a co-feed liquid whey-integrated diet on the fecal microbiota of 14 crossbred pigs. The experimental design was as follows: seven pigs were in the control group, fed with a control feed, and seven were in the experimental group, fed with the same control feed supplemented daily with liquid whey. The collection of fecal samples was conducted on each animal before the dietary treatment (T0) and one (T1), and two (T2) months after the beginning of the co-feed integration. In addition, blood samples were collected from each pig at the same time points in order to evaluate the physiological parameters. Taxonomic analysis showed a bacterial community dominated by FirmicutesBacteroidetesSpirochaetes, and Proteobacteria phyla that populated the crossbred pig feces. The diversity metrics suggested that the co-feed supplementation affected some alpha diversity indexes of the fecal microbiota. In addition, the differential abundance analysis at the genus level revealed significant differences for various genera, suggesting that the liquid whey supplementation potentially influenced a part of the bacterial community over time. Spearman’s correlations revealed that the differential abundant genera identified are positively or negatively correlated with the physiological parameters.