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Effect of diet composition on postweaning colibacillosis in piglets

Montagne, L., Cavaney, F.S., Hampson, D.J.ORCID: 0000-0002-7729-0427, Lalles, J.P. and Pluske, J.R.ORCID: 0000-0002-7194-2164 (2004) Effect of diet composition on postweaning colibacillosis in piglets. Journal of Animal Science, 82 (8). pp. 2364-2374.

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The weaning of piglets is often associated with digestive disorders, particularly diarrhea—postweaning colibacillosis (PWC)—which is caused by infection with enterotoxigenic strains of Escherichia coli. It has been shown previously that a diet for newly weaned pigs based on cooked white rice and animal protein decreases the occurrence of PWC, whereas the addition of carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) to this diet enhances PWC. The aims of the current work were to 1) determine whether substitution of animal protein with plant proteins in the cooked-white-rice diet influenced its protective effects on PWC and 2) confirm that an increase in viscosity of the digesta by adding CMC to the diet favors the development of PWC—with (Exp. 1) or without (Exp. 2) experimental infection of piglets with E. coli. The diets were 1) cooked white rice and animal protein sources (RAP), 2) RAP + CMC added at 40 g of CMC/kg (air-dry basis) of diet, 3) cooked white rice and plant protein sources (RPP), and 4) wheat and plant protein sources (WPP). Experiments 1 and 2 were conducted using 32 and 24 piglets (eight and six per treatment), respectively. Piglets were weaned at 21 d (d 1), and fed ad libitum until slaughter on d 9. In Exp. 1, piglets were orally infected with enterotoxigenic E. coli on d 4, 5, 6, and 7. On d 8 of Exp. 1, the E. coli scores in feces of pigs fed RAP + CMC were higher than with RAP (P < 0.01). On d 9 after weaning, feces from pigs fed diet RAP were normal or moist, whereas feces from pigs fed RAP + CMC were wet to diarrheic. On d 7 of Exp. 2, pigs fed diets RAP + CMC and WPP had wetter feces than pigs fed diets RAP or RPP (P < 0.05). On d 8, the E. coli scores in feces were higher (P < 0.01) with pigs fed RAP + CMC than with all other diets. The E. coli scores in the digesta were also higher with pigs fed RAP + CMC, and to a lesser extent with diet WPP, than with pigs fed RAP or RPP (P < 0.01). The large intestine was heavier in pigs fed diets RPP and WPP, and the digesta were more acidic (P < 0.05). This study confirmed that diet RAP was protective against PWC, and that substitution of animal proteins with plant protein in a rice-based diet did not diminish its protective effects. The addition of CMC to cooked white rice increased digesta viscosity and enhanced PWC. Consequently, this diet represents a useful model for studying this condition.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: American Society of Animal Science
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