Fecal ammonia, urea, volatile fatty acid and lactate levels in dairy cows and their pathophysiological significance during diarrhea
ABSTRACT Normal fecal samples were taken from lactating cows fed either a total mixed ration (TMR; n = 30) or pasture-based diet (20) and from dry cows fed mainly on hay (15). Diarrheic fecal samples (n = 51) were collected from 21 sick dairy cows. Fecal analyses of ammonia, urea, lactate and volatile fatty acid (VFA) levels were used to evaluate colonic fermentation. Most normal feces had reasonably neutral pH, however, alkaline feces were observed in diarrheic cows. Although fecal lactate is higher in cows on grazing pasture, lactate levels were generally lower in the cows in the present study. Fecal VFA levels were higher in lactating cows than in dry cows. Elevated fecal urea was observed in diarrheic cows, however, many fecal samples in normal and diarrheic cows contained no urea. Fecal VFA levels in diarrheic cows were lower than in normal lactating cows, but were approximately equivalent to those in dry cows. Grazing or dry cows showed higher acetate and lower n-butyrate proportions compared with TMR-fed or diarrheic cows. Higher proportions of branched chain VFAs were observed in diarrheic cows, and the lowest level was observed in grazing cows. The present results indicate that intracolonic nitrogen equilibrium and proteolytic fermentation are altered by diarrheic status.
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ABSTRACT: Volatile fatty acids (VFA) and lactic acid can build up in the rumen and reduce ruminal pH. Low ruminal pH for prolonged periods each day can affect feed intake, microbial metabolism and feed digestion, and has also been related to inflammation, diarrhea and milk fat depression. This paper considers aspects of pH regulation, as well as the effects of ruminal pH on rate of substrate degradation and on the profile of VFA available for absorption. Removal of VFA from the rumen by passage in the liquid phase and by absorption through the rumen wall are major processes that influence ruminal pH. The buffering capacity (BC) of rumen fluid is variable and is generally assumed to depend primarily on bicarbonate. Bicarbonate-dependent absorption is not just a primary absorption pathway of VFA but can also secrete bicarbonate at a capacity equal to that from saliva, thus removing protons from the rumen by neutralization. In addition, the inherent BC of the diet is involved in pH regulation, largely explained by the cation exchange capacity of feedstuffs. Empirical models to predict ruminal pH have had limited success. The inclusion of dietary characteristics in those models is needed to improve prediction accuracy. Representations of the effect of pH on fiber degradation adopted in models of ruminal function differ widely and include linear decline, saturation-type and sigmoidal relationships. In comparison with pH effects on degradation of fiber in sacco, most representations tend to overestimate the inhibiting effect of pH. Because the products of fiber hydrolysis are a major source of energy for microbial growth in the rumen, proper understanding and representation of fiber degradation at low pH is vital to predict microbial protein supply and VFA production satisfactorily. Variation in VFA profile is associated with variation in methane production, nutrient partitioning and milk composition. Various ruminal bacterial species have been observed to shift pathways in response to changes in pH while fermenting the same substrate. Mechanistic rumen models have adopted VFA stoichiometric coefficients related to type of substrate present in the feed or fermented in the rumen, but the majority of models do not include the effect of pH on VFA profile. In conclusion, ruminal pH is a major determinant of the profile of nutrients available for absorption. Shifting focus to factors other than salivary bicarbonate secretion will aid in better understanding ruminal pH regulation. Improved models to predict effects of ruminal pH on microbial metabolism and VFA profile will enable further optimization of dairy cow nutritionAnimal Feed Science and Technology 02/2012; 172(1-2):22-33. DOI:10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2011.12.005
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ABSTRACT: Comparative analysis of methanogen compositions in the feces of horse and pony was carried out by constructing the α -subunit of methyl coenzyme-M reductase (mcrA) gene and 16S ribosomal RNA gene (16S rRNA) clone libraries. The mcrA clone library analysis indicated that Methanomicrobiales was predominant in both horse and pony. Furthermore, most of the clones of the 16S rRNA gene library showed that Methanomicrobiales was also predominant in horse and pony, but the LIBSHUFF analysis showed that the horse and pony libraries were significantly different (P < 0.05). Most of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) showed low similarity to the identified methanogens in both the mcrA and the 16S rRNA clone libraries. The results suggest that horse and pony harbor unidentified and novel methanogens in their hindgut. The methanogen population was higher in horse than in pony; however, the anaerobic fungal population was similar in horse and pony. The methanogen diversity was different between two breeds of Equus caballus.Archaea 01/2014; 2014:483574. DOI:10.1155/2014/483574
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ABSTRACT: Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei LC01 (LC01) can tolerate intestinal stresses and has antioxidant activity. To evaluate the effect of the bacterium on human intestinal microflora, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled human trial was carried out. Fifty-two healthy adult volunteers were randomized equally to two groups. One group consumed 12% (wt/vol) skimmed milk supplemented with 10(10) CFU of LC01 each day for the 4-week treatment period, and then consumed placebo in the next treatment period, separated by a 2-week washout. The other group followed the reverse order. Group-specific real-time PCR and biochemical analyses was used to determine the intestinal bacterial composition of fecal samples collected at the end of every period, and the concentration of short-chain fatty acids and ammonia. A significant inhibition in fecal Escherichia coli and increase in Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Roseburia intestinalis were observed after consumption of LC01. Acetic acid and butyric acid were significantly higher in the probiotic stage and fecal ammonia was significantly lower. The results indicated a modulation effect of LC01 on the intestinal microflora of young adults, suggesting a beneficial effect on bowel health. LC01 may have potential value as a probiotic.The Journal of Microbiology 12/2013; 51(6):777-82. DOI:10.1007/s12275-013-3279-2