Distinct Effects of Bovicin HC5 and Virginiamycin on in vitro Ruminal Fermentation and Microbial Community Composition

  •  Sofia Moreira    
  •  Claudia Bento    
  •  Analice Azevedo    
  •  Hilario Mantovani    


Antibiotics are used as feed additives for cattle to alter rumen fermentation and increase weight gain. However, this practice can potentially lead to the presence of antibiotic residues in milk and meat and the selection of multiresistant bacteria. Bacteriocins have been suggested as an alternative to antibiotics used in animal production. This work aimed to evaluate the in vitro effects of bovicin HC5 and virginiamycin on ruminal fermentation and on microbial community composition. Ruminal fluid was collected from fistulated cows fed corn silage and incubated with Trypticase (15 g L-1). Cultures treated with bovicin HC5 or virginiamycin decreased (P < 0.05) ammonia accumulation by 47.46% and 66.17%, respectively. Bovicin HC5 and virginiamycin also decreased (P < 0.05) the concentration of organic acids and gas production, but the effects were somewhat distinct. Molecular fingerprinting of the microbial community using PCR-DGGE revealed that community structure varied between treatments and were distinct from the controls. These results demonstrate that bovicin HC5 and virginiamycin have distinct effects on ruminal fermentation and modify differently the microbial community composition. These results also expand the knowledge about the effects of antibiotics and bacteriocins on bacterial and archaeal communities involved in protein metabolism in the rumen.

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