The foundation for this pillar is a comprehensive clinical and pathological characterization of intestinal health in a cohort of 2,000 pigs with the aim to differentiate unequivocally between the phenotype of the robust pig and the non-robust pig. The overarching scientific focus is to elucidate the complex interactions between the intestinal microbiome and host factors and determine their separate and combined influence on intestinal health and resilience. Thus, the Host Pillar will fill in the existing knowledge gap regarding the role of hostmicrobiome interaction on robustness towards intestinal disease. The knowledge gap will be bridged by clarifying the individual and combined impact of the pig host factors and the microbiome on intestinal and systemic health, and by identifying biomarkers that predict intestinal disease predisposition at different stages of life.
The pillar encompasses three interrelated research themes (see the figure below):