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Ruminal acidosis is a prevalent disorder among dairy cows and feedlot cattle, which can significantly impair their health and productivity. This study, involving seven different strains of dairy propionibacteria, represents an in vitro investigation of the feasibility of using these organisms as direct-fed microbials to control lactic acid acumulation in the rumen. Interactions between the propionibacteria, Streptococcus bovis and Megasphaera elsdenii were evaluated in terms of effects on lactic, acetic and propionic acid metabolism, following co-incubation. Spot resistance tests showed slight but varying degrees of growth inhibition by S. bovis among the propionibacteria, while no inhibition was observed between M. elsdenii and the different strains of dairy propionibacteria. In the co-culture experiments comprising S. bovis in nutrient broth, significant differences in pH and the levels of production of lactic, acetic and propionic acid, were observed between treatments following inoculation with various propionibacteria and/or M. elsdenii. In general, lactic acid concentrations at the end of the incubation were significantly lower in the cultures containing propionibacteria compared with cultures comprising either S. bovis only or S. bovis + M. elsdenii, although efficacy of lactate metabolism varied between species and strains. Moreover,the accumulation of acetic and propionic acid in the combined cultures, but not in the solo S. bovis culture, indicated that these compounds were produced as a result of the metabolism of lactic acid by the propionibacteria and M. elsdenii.


J Luo, C S Ranadheera, S King, C A Evans, S K Baines. Potential influence of dairy propionibacteria on the growth and acid metabolism of Streptococcus bovis and Megasphaera elsdenii. Beneficial microbes. 2017 Feb 07;8(1):111-119

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PMID: 27824275

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