Effect of early feeding/foraging of piglets on microbiota composition, immune development and metabolic status


The impact of microbiota on intestinal development is considered to be critically influenced and regulated during early life stages. The intestinal microbiota crucially affects the regulation of host metabolism and innate-adaptive immunity, thereby playing a pivotal role in establishing intestinal homeostasis. Previous studies have shown that during the unstable early postnatal period, the microbiota can be strongly influenced by environmental factors with accompanying impact on intestinal immune functions.

plaatje project Raka.png


The project broadly aims to understand the effect of early life modulation in the porcine gut microbiota, immune development and metabolic status. Research questions include:

  • Does early feeding/foraging affect gut microbiota colonisation pattern?
  • Do immune maturation and metabolic status differ between early-feeding and non-feeding piglets? If yes, does this persists after weaning (Long term effects)?


DNA/RNA isolation, PCR/qPCR, ELISA, Flow cytometry, Immunohistochemistry, Next generation sequencing


Students pursuing BSc/MSc degree in Biology, Molecular Life Sciences, Animal Sciences or related discipline. Previous experience with molecular methods will be preferred.

Contact information:

Raka Choudhury (, PhD Candidate, Host-Microbe Interactomics, Wageningen University and Research, Address- Room E1205, Zodiac (building 122), De Elst 1, 6708 WD Wageningen, Tel. +31 (0)317 485164