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https://doi.org/10.5713/ab.21.0084    [Accepted] Published online August 21, 2021.
Effects of a multi-strain probiotic on growth, health and fecal bacterial flora of neonatal dairy calves
Yongqing Guo1,2  , Zheng Li1,2,*  , Ming Deng1,2,*  , Yaokun Li1,2  , Guangbin Liu1,2  , Dewu Liu1,2  , Qihong Liu3  , Qingshen Liu1,2  , Baoli Sun1,2 
1Guangdong Laboratory of Modern Agricultural Science and Technology in Lingnan, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China
2College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China
3Jiangsu hengfengqiang Biotechnology Co., Ltd, Nantong 226121, China
Correspondence:  Zheng Li,Email: baolisun@scau.edu.cn
Ming Deng,Email: liuqshen@scau.edu.cn
Received: 22 February 2021   • Revised: 29 April 2021   • Accepted: 4 July 2021
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of dietary supplementation with a multi-strain probiotic (MSP) product containing of Bifidobacterium animalis, Lactobacillus casei, Streptococcus faecalis, and Bacillus cerevisiae on growth, health, and fecal bacterial composition of dairy calves during the first month of life.
Forty Holstein calves (24 female and 16 male) at 2d of age were grouped by sex and date of birth then randomly assigned to 1 of 4 treatments: milk replacer supplementation with 0g (0MSP), 2 g (2MSP), 4 g (4MSP) and 6 g (6MSP) MSP per calf per day.
Supplementation of MSP did not result in any significant differences in parameters of body measurements of calves during the 30d period. As the dosage of MSP increased, the average daily gain (p = 0.025) and total dry matter intake (p = 0.020) of calves showed a linear increase. The fecal consistency index (FCI) of the 2MSP, 4MSP and 6MSP group calves were lower than that of the 0MSP group calves (p = 0.003). As the dosage of MSP increased, the concentrations of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH, p = 0.068) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST, p = 0.081) in serum tended to decrease, whereas the concentration of total cholesterol (TC) increased quadratically (p = 0.021). The relative abundance of Dorea in feces was lower (p = 0.011) in the 2MSP, 4MSP and 6MSP group calves than that in the 0MSP group calves. The relative abundance of Dorea (p = 0.001), Faecalibacterium (p = 0.050), and Mitsuokella (p = 0.030) decreased linearly, whereas the relative abundance of Prevotella tended to increase linearly as the dosage of MSP increased (p = 0.058).


The MSP product can be used to reduce the diarrhea, improve the performance, and alter the composition of the fecal bacteria in neonatal dairy calves under the commercial conditions.
Keywords: Calf; Diarrhea rate; Fecal bacterial flora; Performance; Probiotic

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