Effects of ruminal and postruminal infusion of starch hydrolysate or glucose on the microbial ecology of the gastrointestinal tract in growing steers

J. S. Van Kessel, P. C. Nedoluha, A. Williams-Campbell, R. L. Baldwin VI, K. R. McLeod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Forty crossbred steers were used to determine the effects of carbohydrate supply site on the indigenous bacteria of the gastrointestinal tract. Steers were fitted with ruminal and abomasal infusion catheters and assigned randomly to one of eight groups in a complete randomized block design. The experimental period was 36 d. Treatments included: 1) a pelleted basal diet fed at 0.163 Mcal ME·(kg BW0.75)-1·d-1 (LE); 2) the basal diet fed at 0.215 Mcal ME·(kg BW0.75) -1·d-1 (HE); 3) the basal diet fed at 0.163 Mcal ME·(kg BW0.75)-1·d-1 with ruminal infusion of starch hydrolysate (SH) (RSH); 4) the basal diet fed at 0.163 Mcal ME·(kg BW0.75)-1·d-1 with abomasal infusion of SH (ASH); and 5) the basal diet fed at 0.163 Mcal ME·(kg BW0.75)-1·d-1 with abomasal infusion of glucose (AG). The total volume of infusate (5 kg·site-1·d-1) was equalized across treatments and infusion sites by infusion of water. Glucose and SH were infused at rates of 14.35 and 12.64 g·(kg BW0.75)·d -1, respectively. Ruminal, cecal, and fecal samples were obtained on d 36. Ruminal pH was low (5.79) in LE steers and unaffected (P > 0.10) by increased energy intake or carbohydrate infusion. Cecal and fecal pH were 6.93 and 7.00, respectively, for LE steers. Increasing energy intake (P < 0.10) and the rate of carbohydrate infusion (P < 0.01) significantly decreased cecal and fecal pH compared with LE. Ruminal counts of anaerobic bacteria in LE steers were 8.99 log10 cells/g and abomasal carbohydrate infusion had no affect (P > 0.10) on these numbers. However, ASH and AG steers had approximately 1.5 log10 cells/g more (P < 0.01) cecal and fecal anaerobic populations. Ruminal, cecal, and fecal aerobic bacterial counts were 40, 22, and 23%, respectively, lower than anaerobic counts. Generally, aerobic counts responded similarly to the anaerobic counts. Less than 1% of the anaerobic bacteria enumerated in the rumen, cecum, and feces were coliforms, and 97% of the coliforms were Escherichia coli. Carbohydrate infusions resulted in only numerical increases in fecal coliform and E. coli concentrations (P > 0.10). Fecal E. coli were highly acid sensitive in all steers, with less than 1% surviving a 1-h exposure to low pH (2.0). This suggests that cecal or fecal pH is not a good indicator of acid resistance, and it supports the concept that there are other factors that may induce acid resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3027-3034
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Volume80
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2002

Keywords

  • Bacteria
  • Cattle
  • Escherichia coli
  • Fermentation
  • Rumen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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