RCMS Research Chair in Meat Safety

Nassima Rabhi

Assesment of the link between the microbiota and deviant behavior in pigs (tail biting)

Within the family of pigs, tail biting is among the most problematic behavioral disorders. It engenders infections, and is therefore associated to economic losses and also considered as a risk as far as the animal welfare is concerned.

 The “microbiota” has been toping the media headlines lately; the microbiota is a complex ecosystem of intestine micro-organisms. This “second brain” would even influence the behaviors, and it was proved with mice and humans. My project aims at comparing the microbiota of tail-biting pigs and those with normal behavior. We would like to identify the intestinal bacteria that most likely modify the behavior of pigs. Once selected, the bacteria will be used to create a probiotic, which is incorporated within the food for animals, would be able to correct this tail-biting behavior. As a result, there may be other behavioral disorders that could be treated the same way.
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Biology ingeneer

Supervisor: Sylvain Quessy

Cosupervisor: Ann Letellier

Academic Background : Bachelor's degree in biology, microbiology option (2011)



Scientific publications:

Scientific articles

Published abstracts (conference proceedings)