Submitted to: Feedinfo News
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 6, 2003
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Escherichia coli infections in swine are a major cause of diarrhea in weaned pigs and represent large economic losses for producers. In addition, the possibility of the contamination of pork meat and products with E. coli is a major health concern for the consumer. There are also concerns about the use of antibiotics in pig feed and the possibility of passing resistant bacteria to humans. Therefore, we have developed an alternative product derived from the bacteria normally found in the healthy swine gut which protects young pigs from Salmonella and E. coli infections when administered shortly after birth. In this study, piglets were given this swine bacterial product shortly after birth and were then given E. coli at weaning. The swine normal bacteria product did reduce E. coli in some parts of the gut and reduced deaths associated with E. coli infections.
Technical Abstract: The objective of the proposed research was to evaluate the effects of porcine- derived normal gut microflora (RPCF) on an experimental enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) infection in weaned pigs. The litters of eighteen sows, split into 3 studies, were used. Piglets in the RPCF group received the RPCF culture within 12 hours of birth by oral administration. Control piglets received a placebo. Upon weaning, piglets in the RPCF and infected control groups were administered 10 log8, 10 log9, or 10 log10 colony-forming units (CFUs) of an enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (studies 1, 2, 3, respectively) that also expressed the F 18 fimbrial antigen and produced the STx2e toxin associated with edema disease in weaned pigs. In studies 1 and 2 where a lower challenge dose was used, reductions in the tissue positive and the CFU determinations for EC F18 STx2e were observed in the RPCF group. In the highest challenge dose study (10 log10) no differences in weight gain or EC colonization was observed between treated and controls, however mortality was reduced from 14.3% in controls to zero in the RPCF treated group. These studies demonstrate that RPCF may be an alternative or possibly adjunct prophylactic measure for the control of ETEC in weaned pigs. Trials in commercial operations involving greater numbers of pigs are needed to appropriately evaluate the effects of RPCF on disease and performance measurements.