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Review Paper
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2005;18(9): 1353-1362.
https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2005.1353    Published online December 1, 2005.
Microflora Management in the Gastrointestinal Tract of Piglets
B. Metzler, E. Bauer, R. Mosenthin
The stressful physiological and environmental conditions around weaning often promote the proliferation of pathogens in the digestive tract of piglets resulting in diarrhoea and reduced daily weight gain. Typical dietary practices to maintain growth performance and health have led to an increased use of antimicrobial growth promoters. Due to the advanced ban of antibiotics in pig production, new concepts have been developed to secure animal health and growth performance, feed efficiency, and product quality as well. Several naturally occurring compounds seem to beneficially affect the composition and activity of the microflora in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of pigs. These are, among others, organic acids, probiotics, prebiotics, and enzymes. Organic acids are already widely used, especially in pigs, due to their positive effects on GIT health and growth performance. Probiotics have been shown to be effective against diarrhoea though effects may be dependent on diet composition and environmental conditions. Prebiotics may influence composition and activity of the intestinal microflora. Additionally, pre- and probiotics may exert positive influences on immune response, whereas enzymes may enhance feed digestibility by breaking down anti-nutritional factors. In the following, the focus will be directed to the role of organic acids, probiotics, prebiotics, and feeding enzymes as potential modulators of GIT health.
Keywords: Microflora; In-feed Antibiotics; Organic Acids; Probiotics; Prebiotics; Enzymes

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