There is still more investigating to be done in this large data set, but preliminary examination suggests that oral, nasal, rectal and vaginal microbiomes were distinctly different in sows from different locations. Therefore, drinking water and location may influence the sow microbiome. Data has already been collected from a follow-up trial with multiple sites in a large integrated system that will also provide information on how drinking water can affect the sow microbiome and reproductive performance.
We still have a lot to learn about the role of microbiome in swine barns. Identifying patterns of change in microbial abundance and diversity present in the gut may be correlated to health and production parameters that would help producers, feed suppliers and veterinarians make more strategic decisions about management, feed additives and treatment options. Translation into livestock species is an important next step for the advancement of animal welfare, public health and producer viability.