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Abstract

Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation products have been used to improve the performance of nursery pigs. However, research on the influence of this supplement on health is lacking. This study was designed to determine if feeding a Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product to weaned pigs would reduce stress and acute phase responses (APR) following a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge. Pigs (n=30; 6.4±0.1 kg) were individually housed in stainless steel pens with ad libitum access to feed and water. Pigs were weighed upon arrival, assigned to one of three groups (n=10/treatment), and fed for 18 days: (1) Control, fed a non-medicated starter diet; (2) Control diet with the inclusion of a Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product at 1 kg/metric ton (SGX1) and (3) Control diet with the inclusion of a Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product at 2 kg/metric ton (SGX2). On day 7 pigs were anesthetized for insertion of an i.p. temperature device, and similarly on day 14 for insertion of a jugular catheter. Pigs were challenged i.v. with LPS (25 µg/kg BW) on day 15. Blood samples were collected at 0.5 h (serum) and 1 h (complete blood cell counts) intervals from -2 to 8 h and at 24 h relative to LPS administration at 0 h. Pigs and feeders were weighed on days 7, 14 and 18. The supplemented pigs had increased BW and average daily gain before the challenge. In response to LPS, there was a greater increase in i.p. temperature in Control pigs compared with supplemented pigs. In addition, cortisol was reduced in SGX2 pigs while cortisol was elevated in SGX1 pigs at several time points post-challenge. White blood cells, neutrophils and lymphocytes were decreased in SGX1 and SGX2 compared with Control pigs. Furthermore, the pro-inflammatory cytokine response varied by treatment and dose of treatment. Specifically, serum TNF-α was greatest in SGX2, intermediate in Control, and least in SGX1 pigs, while the magnitude and temporal pattern of IFN-γ in SGX2 pigs was delayed and reduced. In contrast, IL-6 concentrations were reduced in both SGX treatment groups compared with Control pigs. These data demonstrate that different supplementation feed inclusion rates produced differential responses, and that feeding SynGenX to weaned pigs attenuated the APR to an LPS challenge.

Keywords: innate immune response; pro-inflammatory response; probiotic; swine; temperature.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Lactobacillus acidophilus HA-122Altered Pro-Inflammatory Cytokine LevelsNeutral
Small
Lactobacillus acidophilus HA-122Reduced Acute Phase ResponseBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus acidophilus HA-122Reduced Cortisol LevelsBeneficial
Small
Lactobacillus acidophilus HA-122Reduced Increase in Intraoperative TemperatureBeneficial
Moderate
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