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Animal Breeding and Genetics
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2004;17(3): 401-409.
https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2004.401    Published online January 1, 2004.
Effects of Lactobacilli on the Performance, Diarrhea Incidence, VFA Concentration and Gastrointestinal Microbial Flora of Weaning Pigs
Canghai Huang, Shiyan Qiao, Defa Li, Xiangshu Piao, Jiping Ren
Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of a complex Lactobacilli preparation on performance, resistance to E. coli infection and gut microbial flora of weaning pigs. In exp. 1, twelve pigs (7.65 1.10 kg BW), weaned at 28 d, were randomly allotted into 2 groups and placed in individual metabolic cages. During the first 7 d, one group of pigs was provided ad libitum access to water containing 105 colony forming units (CFU) Lactobacilli per ml and the control group was provided tap water. The Lactobacilli preparation included Lactobacillus gasseri, L. reuteri, L. acidophilus and L. fermentum, which were isolated from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract mucosa of weaning pigs. On d 8, 20 ml of 108 CFU/ml E. coli solution (serovars K99, K88 and 987P at the ratio of 1:1:1) was orally administered to each pig. Diarrhea scores and diarrhea incidence were recorded from d 7 to 14. On d 14, pigs were euthanized and digesta and mucosa from the stomach, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, cecum and colon were sampled using aseptic technique to determine microflora by culturing bacteria in selective medium. The results showed that Lactobacilli treatment significantly decreased E. coli and aerobe counts (p<0.01) but increased Lactobacilli and anaerobe counts (p<0.01) in digesta and mucosa of most sections of the GI tract. A 66 and 69.1% decrease in diarrhea index and diarrhea incidence, respectively, was observed in the Lactobacilli treated group. In exp. 2, Thirty-six crossbred Duroc Landrace Yorkshire piglets, weaned at 28 2 days, were selected and randomly allocated into 2 groups. There were 18 piglets in each group, 3 piglets in one pen and 6 replicates in each treatment with 3 pens of barrow and 3 pens of female piglet in each treatment. Piglets had ad libitum access to feed and water. The initial body weight of piglet was 7.65 1.09 kg. Dietary treatments included a non-medicated basal diet with Lactobacilli (105 CFU/g diet) or carbadox (60 mg/kg) as control. On d 21, six pigs per group (one pig per pen) were euthanized. Ileal digesta was collected to determine apparent amino acid digestibility. Microflora content was determined similarly to exp.1. The results showed that Lactobacilli treatment significantly improved average daily feed intake (ADFI) of pigs compared to carbadox (p<0.05) during the first 2 wks after weaning and average daily gain (ADG) and ADFI increased significantly (p<0.05) from d 8 to 14. Nitrogen and total phosphorus digestibility also increased (p<0.05). Bacterial counts were similar to exp. 1. The results indicate that the complex Lactobacilli preparation improved performance for 2 wks after weaning, enhanced resistance to E. coli infection, and improved microbial balance in the GI tract.
Keywords: Lactobacillus; Growth Performance; Diarrhea; Weaning Pig

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