Beef, pork, chicken and milk are considered representative protein sources in the human diet. Since the digestion of protein is important, the role of intestinal microflora is also important. Despite this, the pure effects of meat and milk intake on the microbiome are yet to be fully elucidated. To evaluate the effect of beef, pork, chicken and milk on intestinal microflora, we observed changes in the microbiome in response to different types of dietary animal proteins in vitro. Feces were collected from five 6-week-old pigs. The suspensions were pooled and inoculated into four different media containing beef, pork, chicken, or skim milk powder in distilled water. Changes in microbial communities were analyzed using 16S rRNA sequencing. The feces alone had the highest microbial alpha diversity. Among the treatment groups, beef showed the highest microbial diversity, followed by pork, chicken, and milk. The three dominant phyla were Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, and Bacteroidetes in all the groups. The most abundant genera in beef, pork, and chicken were Rummeliibacillus, Clostridium, and Phascolarctobacterium, whereas milk was enriched with Streptococcus, Lactobacillus, and Enterococcus. Aerobic bacteria decreased while anaerobic and facultative anaerobic bacteria increased in protein-rich nutrients. Functional gene groups were found to be over-represented in protein-rich nutrients. Our results provide baseline information for understanding the roles of dietary animal proteins in reshaping the gut microbiome. Furthermore, growth-promotion by specific species/genus may be used as a cultivation tool for uncultured gut microorganisms.
Keywords: Protein; fecal contamination; gut microbiome; meat; milk; protein utilizing bacteria.