Enterocin M and Sage Supplementation in Post-weaning Rabbits: Effects on Growth Performance, Caecal Microbiota, Fermentation and Enzymatic Activity


The effects of enterocin (Ent) M and sage extract applied separately and in combination were investigated. EntM (E 50 μL/animal/day in water) and sage extract (S 10 μL/animal/day in water) were applied individually and in combination (E+S) to rabbits during 21 days of treatment. The rabbits’ growth was not significantly influenced by the additives. Lower feed conversion (FC) was noted in the experimental groups compared with controls, with the lowest data detected in E. The antimicrobial activity of EntM was noted (in E+S: lactic acid bacteria—P < 0.01; in E, E+S: enterococci, enterobacteria—P > 0.05; in E: clostridia—P > 0.05). The most significant changes in fermentation between weaned and older rabbits were noted in amylolytic activity at day 21 (E P < 0.05; E + S P < 0.05); prolonged reduction effect of sage extract on amylolytic activity was observed. The activity of cellulase, pectinase and xylanase was higher in older than in younger animals. Decrease in lactic acid and volatile fatty acids was noted during EntM administration, with significant effect on propionic acid concentration (E P < 0.05; E+S P < 0.001). The sage extract reduced propionic acid (S P < 0.001) and butyric acid levels (S P < 0.05) and increased the concentrations of butyric, iso-valeric, valeric, caproic acids and lactic acid (P < 0.001). It seems to be that EntM and sage supplementation may improve the economy of rabbit farms (increased FC) and the health status of rabbits (reduction of spoilage microbiota, enhanced enzymatic activities in caecum).

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We are grateful to Mrs. M. Bodnárová and Mr. P. Jerga for their skillful technical assistance and also to Dr. V. Párkányi, Dr. R. Jurčík and Dr. Ľ. Ondruška from the National Agricultural and Food Centre in Nitra for caecal sampling and Mr. J. Pecho for slaughtering. We would like to thank Mr. A. Billingham for the English correction of the manuscript.


This work was supported by the projects VEGA 2/0006/17 and ITMS 26220220204 of the Research and Development Operational Programme funded by the ERDF.

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Simonová, M.P., Chrastinová, Ľ., Kandričáková, A. et al. Enterocin M and Sage Supplementation in Post-weaning Rabbits: Effects on Growth Performance, Caecal Microbiota, Fermentation and Enzymatic Activity. Probiotics & Antimicro. Prot. 12, 732–739 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12602-019-09584-z

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  • Enterocin
  • Sage
  • Microflora
  • Enzymes
  • Organic acids