The effects of live yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae on postweaning diarrhea, immune response, and growth performance in weaned piglets
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The effects of live yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae (strain CNCM I-4407, 10(10) cfu/g; Actisaf; Lesaffre Feed Additives, Marcq-en-Baroeul, France) on the severity of diarrhea, immune response, and growth performance in weaned piglets orally challenged with enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) strain O149:K88 were investigated. Live yeast was fed to sows and their piglets in the late gestation, suckling, and postweaning periods. Sows were fed a basal diet without (Control; n = 2) or with (Supplemented; n = 2) 1 g/kg of live yeast from d 94 of gestation and during lactation until weaning of the piglets (d 28). Suckling piglets of the supplemented sows were orally treated with 1 g of live yeast in porridge carrier 3 times a week until weaning. Weaned piglets were fed a basal starter diet without (Control; n = 19) or with (Supplemented; n = 15) 5 g of live yeast/kg feed for 2 wk. Significantly lower daily diarrhea scores (P < 0.05), duration of diarrhea (P < 0.01), and shedding of pathogenic ETEC bacteria (P < 0.05) in feces was detected in the supplemented piglets. Administration of live yeast significantly increased (P < 0.05) IgA levels in the serum of piglets. Evidence indicates that decreased infection-related stress and severity of diarrhea in yeast-fed weaned piglets positively affected their growth capacity in the postweaning period (P < 0.05). The results suggest that dietary supplementation with live yeast S. cerevisiae to sows and piglets in the late gestation, suckling, and postweaning periods can be useful in the reduction of the duration and severity of postweaning diarrhea caused by ETEC.
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