The importance of the intestinal microbiota of animals is widely acknowledged because of
its vital role in the health of animals. There are complex communities of microbiota, which colonize the
gastrointestinal tract. Intestinal microbiota are conductive to animal health and the development of the
host immune system. Probiotics are commonly used dietary additives where they provide the host with
many beneficial functions, such as modulating intestinal homeostasis and promoting gut health. These
beneficial effects of probiotics may accrue from the inhibiting the growth of pathogenic bacteria and
promoting the growth of beneficial flora in the gastrointestinal tract. Probiotics colonization and its
impact on gut microbiota members are highly species specific. Different probiotics have been shown to
have dramatically different capacities of modulation physiological function. This review summarizes
existing studies of the influence of dietary additive probiotics on the gut microbiota in different animals,
such as humans, mice, pigs and chickens, to clarify the contribution of different kinds of probiotics to
the intestinal microbiota. Moreover, the probable mechanism for the benefits of dietary supplementation
with probiotics will be discussed.
Keywords: Probiotics, gut, microbiota, animal, modulation, mechanism.
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