Characterization of the Bacterial Communities of the Tonsil of the Soft Palate of Swine
Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis and pyrosequencing were used to characterize the microbiota of the tonsil of the soft palate of 126 unfit and 18 healthy pigs. The T-RFLP analysis method was first optimized for the study of the pig tonsil microbiota and the data compared with culture-based identification of common pig pathogens. Putative identifications of the members of the microbiota revealed that the phyla Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were the most prevalent. A comparison of the T-RFLP analysis results grouped into clusters to clinical conditions revealed paleness, abscess, PRRS virus, and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae to be significantly associated with cluster membership. T-RFLP analysis was also used to select representative tonsil samples for pyrosequencing. These studies confirmed Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Fusobacteria, and Proteobacteria to be the core phyla of the microbiota of the tonsil of the soft palate of pigs.