Balantioides coli is a ciliated parasite that can cause diarrhea when inhabiting the colon and cecum of pigs and humans. However, information regarding the changes in structure and composition of the gut microbiome in piglets infected with B. coli remains scarce. In this study, 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing was conducted on fecal samples from both B. coli-positive piglets with diarrhea and B. coli-negative piglets without diarrhea. The results showed that Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes were the major phyla in the two groups, and the relative abundance of the phylum Firmicutes, including Ruminococcaceae and Clostridiaceae, was significantly lower in the B. coli-positive samples than in the B. coli-negative ones (p < 0.05). Compared with B. coli-negative samples, Alloprevotella and Faecalibacterium showed distinctly higher relative abundances (p < 0.05) in the B. coli-positive samples, and the abundances of some potential pathogenic bacteria, including Escherichia-Shigella and Campylobacter, were positively correlated with B. coli infection and diarrhea of weaned piglets. In addition, there were statistically significant differences in fecal microbiota diversity and abundances of predicted functional genes between B. coli-colonized and B. coli-negative samples (p < 0.05). Taken together, these findings suggest that there were significant differences in the bacterial community composition, diversity, and functions between the B. coli-positive and B. coli-negative piglets, and the colonization by B. coli may be associated with the dysbiosis of gut microbiota structure in weaned piglets.Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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