Submitted to: Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 20, 2000
Publication Date: October 1, 2000
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 neonatal 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)derived from the cecal microflora of a young, healthy pig and maintained in a continuous flow fermentation system 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 infection in neonatal pigs raised off-sow. The administration of RPCF at 12 and 24 hours after birth resulted in significant ( P < 0.05) reductions in mortality, incidence of fecal shedding, and in gut colonization by E. coli when compared to control values. RPCF reduced mortality from 17.5 % observed in untreated pigs to 4.4 % in RPCF- treated pigs. Fecal shedding of E. coli was reduced significantly (P < 0.05) in RPCF-treated pigs between days 1-3 post-challenge. These results indicate that the RPCF culture is effective against one of the most important causes of neonatal scours, E. coli infections, in piglets.