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Using diet to control gastrointestinal infections - a practical alternative to antibiotics?

Hampson, D.ORCID: 0000-0002-7729-0427, Pluske, J.ORCID: 0000-0002-7194-2164 and Pethick, D.ORCID: 0000-0002-3255-7677 (2000) Using diet to control gastrointestinal infections - a practical alternative to antibiotics? In: Proceedings of the Nutrition Society of Australia, 24, 3 - 6 December, Fremantle, Western Australia pp. 106-112.

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Several potentially adverse affects arising from the use of antibiotics to prevent and/or control infections in animals have been identified. Consequently, to reduce antimicrobial use in animals, alternative non-antimicrobial approaches are being sought. This paper summarises experiments undertaken in our laboratory where we have used certain dietary manipulations to reduce the susceptibility of pigs to a number of specific enteric bacterial infections. These conditions include intestinal spirochaete infections of the large intestine (swine dysentery and intestinal spirochaetosis), post-weaning infections of the small intestine with enterotoxigenic strains of Escherichia coli, and ulceration of the stomach associated with spiral bacteria including Helicobacter spp. and Campylobacter spp. In all three regions of the gastrointestinal tract it has been possible to reduce the susceptibility of pigs to the various specific infections by feeding specific diets. No single simple and universal means of reducing susceptibility to pathogenic bacteria has been identified, but generally diets that are easily digestible in the upper part of the tract, and are low in rapidly fermentable fibre (eg diets based on cooked white rice), confer some protection against experimental disease. The porcine and human gastrointestinal tracts have many physical similarities, hence the pig could be considered a model for a similar dietary approach to reducing human susceptibility to selected intestinal bacterial infections.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
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