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Effects of dietary Clostridium butyricum supplementation on growth performance, intestinal development, and immune response of weaned piglets challenged with lipopolysaccharide

  • 2018-08-23
  • Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology 9(1)
    • Ling Chen
    • Shuang Li
    • Jie Zheng
    • Wentao Li
    • Xuemei Jiang
    • Xilun Zhao
    • Jian Li
    • L. Che
    • Yan Lin
    • Shengyu Xu
    • B. Feng
    • Z. Fang
    • De Wu


Background: Weanling pigs, with immature immune system and physiological function, usually experience post-weaning diarrhea. This study determined the effects of dietary Clostridium butyricum supplementation on growth performance, diarrhea, and immunity of weaned pigs challenged with lipopolysaccharide (LPS).

Methods: In Experiment (Exp.) 1, 144 weaned piglets were weaned at 21 d and randomly assigned to six groups, with six replicates per group and four pigs per replicate, receiving a control diet (CON) or diet supplemented with antibiotics (AB) or C. butyricum (CB) (0.1%, 0.2%, 0.4%, or 0.8%), respectively. All diets in Exp. 1 were a highly digestible basal diet, with 3,000 mg/kg zinc oxide supplied in the first 2 wk only. In Exp. 2, 180 piglets were weaned at 21 d and randomly assigned to five groups, with six replicates per group and six pigs per replicate, receiving CON, AB, or CB (0.2%, 0.4%, or 0.6%) diets. The digestibility of diets was lower than those in Exp. 1, and did not include zinc oxide. At 36 d of Exp. 2, 12 piglets were selected from each of the CON and 0.4% CB groups, six piglets were intraperitoneally injected with LPS (50 μg/kg body weight) and the other six piglets with normal saline; animals were killed at 4 h after injection to collect blood, intestine, and digesta samples for biochemical analysis.

Results: In Exp. 1, CB and AB diets had no effect on growth performance of piglets. In Exp. 2, 0.4% CB decreased feed-gain ratio (P < 0.1), diarrhea score (P < 0.05), and increased duodenal, jejunal, and ileal villus height and jejunal villus height/crypt depth (P < 0.05). The 0.4% CB decreased the plasma tumor necrosis factor (TNF) α (P < 0.05) but increased ileal mucosa IL-10 and TLR2 mRNA expression (P < 0.05). Furthermore, 0.4% CB altered the microbial profile, with Bacillus and Ruminococcaceae UGG-003 at genus level and Lactobacillus casei and Parasutterella secunda at species level were higher than CON in colonic content (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: Dietary C. butyricum supplementation had positive effects on growth of weaned piglets with less digestible diets. There was a tendency to reduce the feed-gain ratio, which could reduce feed costs in pig production. Moreover, C. butyricum decreased post-weaning diarrhea by improving the intestinal morphology, intestinal microflora profile, and immune function.

Keywords: Clostridium butyricum; Growth performance; Immune; Intestinal microflora; Weaned piglets.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Clostridium butyricumAltered Gut Microbiota CompositionBeneficial
Clostridium butyricumImproved Growth PerformanceBeneficial
Clostridium butyricumImproved Immune FunctionBeneficial
Clostridium butyricumImproved Intestinal MorphologyBeneficial
Clostridium butyricumReduced Diarrhea RateBeneficial
Clostridium butyricumReduced Tumor Necrosis Factor-α (TNF-α)Beneficial

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