Department of Animal Science


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Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License,

© The Author(s) 2020


The majority of microbiome studies focused on understanding mechanistic relationships between the host and the microbiota have used mice and other rodents as the model of choice. However, the domestic pig is a relevant model that is currently underutilized for human microbiome investigations. In this study, we performed a direct comparison of the engraftment of fecal bacterial communities from human donors between human microbiotaassociated (HMA) piglet and mouse models under identical dietary conditions. Analysis of 16S rRNA genes using amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) revealed that with the exception of early microbiota from infants, the more mature microbiotas tested established better in the HMA piglets compared to HMA mice. Of interest was the greater transplantation success of members belonging to phylum Firmicutes in the HMA piglets compared to the HMA mice. Together, these results provide evidence for the HMA piglet model potentially being more broadly applicable for donors with more mature microbiotas while the HMA mouse model might be more relevant for developing microbiotas such as those of infants. This study also emphasizes the necessity to exercise caution in extrapolating findings from HMA animals to humans, since up to 28% of taxa from some donors failed to colonize either model.

Supplemental figures and list of data supplements included.

Data files (.xlsx) attached to record page

AlthgeCommunicationBio2020DifferentialSupData1.xlsx (36 kB)
1. Core ASV distribution for each donor in the two HMA animal models

AlthgeCommunicationBio2020DifferentialSupData2.xlsx (24 kB)
2. Phylum, family, and genus level groupings of colonizers

AlthgeCommunicationBio2020DifferentialSupData3.xlsx (26 kB)
3. Mean relative abundances and taxonomic classifications

AlthgeCommunicationBio2020DifferentialSupData4.xlsx (14 kB)
4. Taxonomic classifications for core ASVs from each human donor

AlthgeCommunicationBio2020DifferentialSupData5.xlsx (9 kB)
5. Taxonomic classifications for 27 common core ASVs

AlthgeCommunicationBio2020DifferentialSupData6.xlsx (8 kB)
6. Colonization success of the 27 common core ASVs

AlthgeCommunicationBio2020DifferentialSupData7.xlsx (36 kB)
7. Phylum, family, and genus level taxonomy

AlthgeCommunicationBio2020DifferentialSupData8.xlsx (113 kB)
8. Relative abundance comparisons

AlthgeCommunicationBio2020DifferentialSupData9.xlsx (14 kB)
9. Taxonomic classifications

AlthgeCommunicationBio2020DifferentialSupData10.xlsx (29 kB)
10. Phylum, family, genus level taxonomy assignments

AlthgeCommunicationBio2020DifferentialSupData11.xlsx (9 kB)
11. Diet composition.

AlthgeCommunicationBio2020DifferentialSupData12.xlsx (394 kB)
12.Source data for main figures.