Submitted to: American Journal of Veterinary Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 29, 2001
Publication Date: December 28, 2001
Interpretive Summary: These studies show that we can take the normal bacteria found in the gut of healthy swine and grow them in the laboratory and then give the bacteria to newborn pigs and protect these pigs from an Escherichia coli infection. The process of growing bacteria in the lab and then giving them to animals to protect against disease-causing bacteria is called competitive exclusion (CE). The current studies demonstrate that by giving the swine CE culture to newborn pigs, we can reduce the death and disease symptoms associated with E. coli and reduce the possible spread of the E. coli to other pigs. This work is also important because the CE culture used for these studies is readily identified in the laboratory, which means we will have the first defined CE culture for use in the swine industry. Ultimately, the use of this product in swine should result in less expensive and safer swine products for consumers. Being able to identify the bacteria in a CE culture is necessary for approval of the use of the culture in food animals by the Food and Drug Administration.
Technical Abstract: We have previously reported that the administration of a competitive exclusion culture (PCF-1) to neonatal pigs resulted in a decrease in the incidence of fecal shedding and cecal colonization of Salmonella choleraesuis in pigs at weaning. In the present experiments, we describe the effects of the administration of a derivative of the PCF-1 culture (RPCF) against an enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) infection in suckling neonatal pigs. The administration of RPCF to neonatal pigs 12 hours after birth and challenged with 10**9 colony forming unit (CFU) ETEC at 48 hours resulted in significant (P < 0.001) reductions in mortality. In similar experiments using a 10**7 ETEC challenge, significant (P < 0.001) reductions occurred in the numbers and incidence of ETEC in ileal and cecal contents of RPCF-treated pigs when compared to controls. These results indicate that the RPCF culture is protective against one of the most important causes of neonatal scours, E. coli infections, in piglets.