The effect of caprylic acid, either in its pure form, or as Akomed R. on the microbial community of the stomach and caecum of farmed rabbits was investigated. This fatty acid, which is often added to the diet of farmed rabbits to reduce mortality rates was shown to reduce the number of coliforms isolated from both the stomach and the caecum. Moreover, it led to a reduction in the total number of anaerobic bacteria isolated from the caecum, but not for those isolated from the stomach. Its mode of action remains unclear, but here it is shown by use of both DGGE and TRFLP analysis that these changes are not confined to one specific group of bacteria, but rather affects a number of species. (C) 2010 Published by Elsevier B.V.