Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine



First Advisor

Heather K. Allen

Second Advisor

Gwyn Beattie


Swine are an important agricultural commodity, and global swine production is increasing. Currently antibiotics are extensively used in commercial swine production for the treatment and prevention of diseases. However, the rise of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) necessitates that we reexamine our use of antibiotics, and reduce their use whenever possible. Alternatives to antibiotics are needed if we are to successfully mitigate AMR while still ensuring the health of swine and the safety of the food they produce. The intestinal microbiota is increasingly being manipulated in a number of ways to provide alternatives to antibiotic treatment, and progress is being made in this regard. This work examines the role of the swine intestinal microbiota, particularly the butyrate-producing community, in health and resistance to disease, and investigates how manipulations of this community can provide alternatives to antibiotics. Here, new molecular tools to study the butyrate-producing community are described and, through their use, an initial survey of this community in swine is conducted. A novel butyrate-producing bacterial species is formally described, and its probiotic potential is explored. Finally, dietary raw potato starch is investigated as a means to support butyrate production in swine and is shown to induce beneficial changes in both the intestinal microbiota as well as the host response. These contributions enhance our understanding of the swine-associate butyrate-producing community and represent advancement towards the goal of utilizing the functions of the gut microbiota as a way to promote health and reduce antibiotic treatment.

Copyright Owner

Julian Michael Trachsel



File Format


File Size

139 pages