Lactobacillus porci is bacteria belonging to the genus of Lactobacillus, found in the gastrointestinal tract of a swine (pig). 

A pink pig and blue rod-shaped structures

Close-up of a swine and blue lactobacillus bacteria

Lactobacillus porci bacteria is a probiotic bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract of swine. Probiotic bacterias are good bacteria that play an essential role in protecting the gastrointestinal tract wall from harmful pathogens. Therefore, increasing the rate of nutrient absorption and improving the immunity of swine against diseases. Feed containing probiotics is provided to the swine to improve their health, which will promote healthy and active reproduction. Proper digestion of food will aid in absorbing more essential nutrients from the food. These nutrients are the crucial components the host requires to grow and reduce their mortality. Apart from lactobacillus genus bacteria as probiotic bacteria, they also produce lactic acid when they metabolise glucose substitutes. This provides energy to the host organism to carry out its activities, assisting the body cells in providing better organ functioning. Moreover, a regulated amount of probiotics will provide good quality meat. 

Table of Contents

Overview of structure

Functions of Lactobacillus porci

Overview of structure 

Lactobacillus porci is a rod-shaped, non-motile, gram-positive, non-spore-forming bacteria that live in anaerobic environments. This bacteria is isolated from the small intestine of the swine. It produces lactic acid, belonging to the genus lactobacillus. Lactic acid is produced as a byproduct of glucose metabolism; hence, it is homofermentative since only a single end product is generated. These bacteria do not catalase hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to release oxygen and water as byproducts; thus, they have negative catalase. Hence, they are microaerophilic. 

Blue coloured rod-shaped structures

Close-up of blue coloured lactobacillus bacteria

Optimal growth for Lactobacillus porci is at 37°C with pH 7 for two days under an anaerobic environment. The visual identification in the plate containing the agar culture medium is a smooth, circular, beige, and convex bacterial culture. They grow under lower saline conditions with less than 1% of NaCl. Lactic acid is produced from the varieties of glucose substitutes such as D-glucose, maltose, D-fructose, etc. 

Functions of Lactobacillus porci

The Lactobacillus genus is known for its lactic acid production as an end product from metabolising the carbohydrates to generate energy for the host organism to function. Lactobacillus is also known for their probiotic nature as they are good bacteria that protect the walls of the gastrointestinal tract from any harmful pathogens. This genus of bacteria thrives under anaerobic conditions and is, therefore, microaerophilic, meaning they can grow under low oxygen levels. The digestive tract of the swine provides optimal conditions and nutrients for opportunistic microbes and harmful pathogens to grow. Therefore, the swine will receive good bacteria for the gut from the surrounding environment and food, especially the lactobacillus genre. The species of lactobacillus found in the gastrointestinal tract of swine is Lactobacillus porci bacteria. 

A couple of pink pigs

 Close-up of a couple of swine

The critical role of this bacteria is to protect the walls of the gastrointestinal tract from bad bacteria that are harmful pathogens. The bad bacteria will harm the inner layers of the gastrointestinal tract, thus damaging the mucosa and negatively affecting the absorption power of the intestines. Additionally, the bad pathogens also cause multiple diseases that reduce their mortality and affect different body organs of the swine. Therefore, Lactobacillus porci bacteria help protect the body from these harmful pathogens by increasing the immunity of the swine against multiple diseases. Moreover, Lactobacillus porci also assists the swine in enhancing their reproductive performance, thus achieving increased reproductivity. 

Lactobacillus porci is given as a probiotic through the swine feed that contains strains of probiotic bacteria suited for the swine. Furthermore, various porcilis vaccines are provided to the swine to protect them from various diseases. These vaccines are specific to the potential disease-causing bacterias. Lactobacillus species also aid in maintaining the balance of gut microbes, with other benefits including providing a protective barrier to the epithelial cells in the gastrointestinal tract walls.

Asha Rachel Thomas


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