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Interactions between the intestinal microflora, diet and diarrhoea, and their influences on piglet health in the immediate post-weaning period

Hopwood, D.E. and Hampson, D.J. (2003) Interactions between the intestinal microflora, diet and diarrhoea, and their influences on piglet health in the immediate post-weaning period. In: Pluske, J.R., Le Dividich, J. and Verstegen, M.W.A., (eds.) Weaning the pig: Concepts and consequences. Wageningen Academic Publishers, Wageningen, Netherlands, pp. 199-218.

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Abstract

The piglet is subjected to many environmental, behavioural and dietary stresses immediately after weaning, and the intestinal microenvironment of the newly weaned pig is particularly precarious. With weaning comes a major change in diet that requires and induces significant changes in the types and numbers of micro-organisms residing in the gastrointestinal tract, as well as in the physiology’ and functionality of the tract. Given these circumstances, it is not surprising that the newly weaned pig is highly susceptible to enteric disease. The balance between development of a “healthy intestinal microflora or the establishment of bacterial intestinal disease can he easily tipped toward disease expression (Aumaitre et al, 1995; Nabuurs, 1995). This chapter briefly describes the basic intestinal microflora present during the post-weaning period, specific enteric diseases that can occur at this time, and some potential precipitating dietary factors. Particular emphasis is placed on Escherichia coli and its involvement in the condition known as post weaning colibacillosis (PWC), since this is the most common cause of intestinal disease in the newly-weaned pig. The role of dietary fibre in altering susceptibility to PWC receives special attention.

Publication Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Wageningen Academic Publishers
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/22044
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