Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 9, 2008
Publication Date: June 1, 2008
Citation: Paustian, M., Palmer, M.V. 2008. Microbiome Development in Neonatal Calves [abstract]. American Society for Microbiology. Paper No. N-305. Interpretive Summary: This work was performed to examine the changes in the type and number of bacteria found in the feces and digestive tract of young calves at several different ages. Calves born to healthy cows and those suffering from Johne’s Disease were compared. It was discovered that widespread variation exists between animals as well as locations within the digestive tract. This work should allow scientists to better understand the natural colonization of young animals by microorganisms, as well as the impact of Johne’s Disease on the non-pathogenic bacteria that normally reside in the digestive tract of cattle and provide useful functions. This information will be of most use to other scientists.
Technical Abstract: The initial colonization of eukaryotic hosts by microbial populations is poorly understood, yet this remains a critical time for growth and development. The goals of this study were to characterize the microbiome of neonatal calves. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis was used to compare the bacterial 16s content of weekly fecal samples taken from 18 calves beginning at birth. Additionally, luminal contents and mucosal scrapings were recovered from throughout the digestive tract upon necropsy at several time points (approximately 17, 30, 70, and 100 days). Our results indicate that changes in the microbial content of both feces and the digestive tract can be correlated to both age and physiological location. Future studies will focus on the identification of the microbial species present within the sample set.