Christian-Doppler-Laboratory for Innovative Gut Health Concepts in Livestock – Module Pig


The most critical time point in the development of pigs in regard of health and welfare is weaning. Part of this critical period is the adaption of the gastro-intestinal tract of piglets from a milk-based diet to a complete plant-based diet. During this tremendously stressful transition, the gut-related immune system, the mucosal barrier and the gut microbial ecosystem are either still immature or de-stabilized. In this regard, undigested materials in the gut favours pathogen proliferation explaining the increased diarrhoea incidence in weaned piglets. Feeding strategies can alleviate the negative effects of weaning if they enhance feed intake, improve nutrient absorption and reduce opportunistic pathogen load. To convert recent molecular evidences of the gut microbiome into innovative feeding concepts a much more in-depth understanding of the gut microbiota-host interactions with respect to the impact of gut microbial changes on gut mucosal integrity, gut immunity, nutrient absorption as well as on metabolic fingerprinting in piglets is needed.

Hence, the overall aim of the Module Pig from the D Lab for Innovative Gut Health Concepts in Livestock is to gain a deepter knowledge and understanding of the gut microbiome-host network and interaction especialy during weaning transition period in order to detect reliable biomarkers for assessing gut health and to develop innovative lasting feeding strategies to "smoothen" the transition from milk-based diets in piglets to a plant-based diet in weaned pigs.


The details about the research effort from the Module Ruminant of the CD Lab for Innovatove Gut Health Concepts in Livestock can be found on the website of the Institute Animal Nutrition and Functional Plant Compound. Link to the website of the Module Ruminants of the CD Lab at the Instiute Animal Nutrition and Functinoal Plant Compound 1

Suckling piglets with sow (Picture ©Julia Vötterl)
Weaned piglets (Picture ©Frederike Lerch)

Additional information

Opening of the CD_Laboratoy Innovative Gut Health            Link to press release 2

Christian Doppler Forschungsgesellschaft           Link to the website of Christian Doppler Forschungsesellschaft 3



List of all publications from the Unit Nutritional Physiology    Link to VetDoc 4

Publications of individual staff members                             Link to VetDoc 5