Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.104, No.10, 4493-4504, 2020
Bacillus strains improve growth performance via enhancing digestive function and anti-disease ability in young and weaning rex rabbits
Numerous studies have shown that probiotic Bacillus could promote growth and enhance anti-disease ability in animal. In present study, the mixture of three Bacillus strains, which were isolated from rex rabbits and showed high cellulose, protease, and amylase activities, was added into the diet for investigating its effects on young and weaning rex rabbits. For experiment 1, 40 young rex rabbits (9 weeks old) were randomly divided into four groups and fed with diets containing 0 (NC), 1.0 x 10(5) cfu/g (LC), 1.0 x 10(6) cfu/g (MC), and 1.0 x 10(7) cfu/g (HC) Bacillus strains for 4 weeks. For experiment 2, 80 weaning rex rabbits (5 weeks old) were randomly divided into four groups and fed with diet containing 0 (control), 1.0 x 10(5) cfu/g (T-1), 1.0 x 10(6) cfu/g (T-2), and 1.0 x 10(7) cfu/g (T-3) Bacillus strains for 8 weeks. The results showed that Bacillus strains at a dose of 1.0 x 10(6) cfu/g significantly enhanced growth performance, increased immune organ indexes, improved serum biochemical parameters, and heightened antioxidant capacity. It also markedly improved the intestinal microbiota by increasing Lactobacillus spp., Bacillus spp. counts, and decreased Escherichia coli count. In addition, the Bacillus mixture raised the concentrations of acetic acid, propionic acid, and butyric acid as well as protease, amylase, and cellulase activities of young and weaning rex rabbits. Moreover, for weaning rex rabbits, the inclusion of Bacillus strains also upregulated the abundance of cellulolytic bacteria and improved intestinal morphology. Therefore, our results indicated that Bacillus strains could facilitate the growth of young and weaning rex rabbits by improving digestive function and anti-disease ability.