Natural feeding strategies to reduce enteric disorders and improve adaptation of young pigs to weaning.

Student thesis: Doctoral thesis


The main objective of this thesis was to evaluate different feed strategies to reduce enteric disorders in young pigs, in order to help their adaptation to weaning and enhance productivity and health. In the first two experimental trials it was measured the influence of dietary fiber supplementation on animal performance and parameters of intestinal development. In the third trial it was performed a in vitro trial aiming to search anti-adhesive feed ingredients against enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) K88 and it was identified three of them (wheat bran extract, WB; casein glycomacropeptide, CGMP; and exopolysaccharides of lactobacilli, EPS) as promising candidates to be further studied. In fourth trial it was measured the inflammatory response of intestinal epithelial cells to an ETEC K88 challenge and the influence of certain feed ingredients to regulate that response. In this trial, WB and CGMP better down-regulate the inflammatory response of intestinal cells to ETEC K88, when compared to a positive control and other ingredients. Finally, on fifth trial, CGMP was employed as an anti-adhesive therapy, where piglets were challenged by ETEC K88. Results suggest that CGMP can successfully be used as a feed strategy against enteric disorders caused by ETEC K88. The results of this doctoral thesis support the interest of including moderate levels fiber in the diet of the young animals, in order to stimulate the gut function and reduce the proliferation of gut pathogens. Our work also gives the first steps for the development of feeding strategies to improve the animal resistance to the intestinal pathogens, through the use of anti-adhesive feedstuffs rather than antimicrobial properties. Among the evaluated ingredients, soluble extracts of wheat bran, casein glycomacropeptide derived from cow's milk and extracts of lactobacilli exopolysaccharides were some with the most promising results and worth to be studied further.
Date of Award22 Sept 2011
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJose Francisco Perez Hernandez (Director) & Susana Maria Martin Orue (Director)

Cite this