The effect of dietary lactobacilli on in-vitro deaminative and decarboxylative activities of the small-intestinal microflora has been studied in pigs in relation to weaning. Pigs were weaned abruptly at 21 days of age on to a diet of sterile milk or milk incubated with lactobacilli, and measurements of catabolic activity were made on small-intestinal digesta with and without supplementation with -arginine, -histidine, -lysine and -ornithine.

An increase in decarboxylative and deaminative activities was observed within 48 hr after weaning in animals fed on both diets. Decarboxylative activity was highest, and deaminative activity lowest, in digesta from pigs fed on milk without lactobacilli. During a later period, when diarrhoea was observed, there was a second peak of decarboxylative activity in the digesta of animals fed on both diets; but deaminative activity increased only in animals receiving dietary lactobacilli.

Continuous administration of dietary lactobacilli failed to induce any consistent changes in the small-intestinal microflora.


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