Emerging interactions between diet, gastrointestinal helminth infection, and the gut microbiota in livestock

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Increasing evidence suggests that nutritional manipulation of the commensal gut microbiota (GM) may play a key role in maintaining animal health and production in an era of reduced antimicrobial usage. Gastrointestinal helminth infections impose a considerable burden on animal performance, and recent studies suggest that infection may substantially alter the composition and function of the GM. Here, we discuss the potential interactions between different bioactive dietary components (prebiotics, probiotics and phytonutrients) and helminth infection on the GM in livestock. A number of recent studies suggest that host diet can strongly influence the nature of the helminth-GM interaction. Nutritional manipulation of the GM may thus impact helminth infection, and conversely infection may also influence how the GM responds to dietary interventions. Moreover, a dynamic interaction exists between helminths, the GM, intestinal immune responses, and inflammation. Deciphering the mechanisms underlying the diet-GM-helminth axis will likely inform future helminth control strategies, as well as having implications for how health-promoting feed additives, such as probiotics, can play a role in sustainable animal production.

Original languageEnglish
Article number62
JournalBMC Veterinary Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Research areas

  • Diet, Gut microbiota, Helminths, immunity, Livestock, prebiotics, probiotics

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