Data_Sheet_1_Metatranscriptomic Analysis of the Chicken Gut Resistome Response to In-Feed Antibiotics and Natural Feed Additives.xlsx
The emergence of resistance against common antibiotics in the gut microbiota is a major issue for both human and livestock health. This highlights the need for understanding the impact of such application on the reservoir of antibiotic resistance genes in poultry gut and devising means to circumvent the potential resistome expansion. Phytogenic feed additives (PFAs) are potential natural alternative to antibiotic to improve animal health and performance, supposedly via positively affecting the gut microbial ecosystem, but there is little systematic information available. In this time-course study, we applied a shotgun meta-transcriptomics approach to investigate the impact of a PFA product as well as the commonly used antibiotic, zinc bacitracin either at AGP concentration or therapeutic concentration on the gut microbiome and resistome of broiler chickens raised for 35 days. Over the course of the trial, PFA treatments increased the abundance of Firmicutes such as Lactobacillus and resulted in a lower abundance of Escherichia, while the latter group increased significantly in the feces of chickens that received either AGP or AB doses of bacitracin. Tetracycline resistance and aminoglycoside resistance were the predominant antibiotic resistance gene (ARG) classes found, regardless of the treatment. PFA application resulted in a decrease in abundance of ARGs compared to those in the control group and other antibiotic treatment groups. In summary, the findings from this study demonstrate the potential of phytogenic feed additives could be an alternative to antibiotics in poultry farming, with the added benefit of counteracting antimicrobial resistance development.