Analysis of the intestinal microbiota and physiological parameters in mammalian infancy can reveal health status. In this study, we used a combination of molecular and immunochemical approaches to assess fecal microbiota as well as Cortisol (Cor), Triiodothyronine (T3), and immunoglobulin A (IgA) levels of young forest musk deer (FMD), from birth to one month after weaning (7 days of age–110 days of age). During development as the diet of FMD changes from consuming milk to eating plants, the richness and diversity of intestinal microbiota of young FMD increased significantly. Cor levels remained unchanged throughout early development while significantly increased after weaning, T3 and IgA initially were derived from milk during lactation, significantly decreased after weaning. Correlation network analysis showed that the community of food-oriented microbes were highly structured and that many genera were correlated. Overall, this study provides scientific insights into effective management strategies for the protection of FMD population.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology
- forest musk deer
- intestinal microbiota