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Response of Nursery Pigs to a Synbiotic Preparation of Starch and an Anti-Escherichia coli K88 Probiotic

Krause, D.O., Bhandari, S.K., House, J.D., Nyachoti, C.M.
Applied and environmental microbiology 2010 v.76 no.24 pp. 8192-8200
antibiotics, diarrhea, digestive system, enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, feeds, genes, growth performance, microbial communities, piglets, potato starch, probiotics, ribosomal RNA, starch
Postweaning diarrhea in pigs is frequently caused by enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli K88 (ETEC). The aim of this study was to test the efficacy of E. coli probiotics (PRO) in young pigs challenged with E. coli K88. We also tested the synbiotic interaction with raw potato starch (RPS), which can be used as a prebiotic. Forty 17-day-old weaned piglets were randomly assigned to four treatments: treatment 1, positive-control diet (C), no probiotics or RPS but containing in-feed antibiotics; treatment 2, probiotic (PRO), no feed antibiotics plus a 50:50 mixture of probiotic E. coli strains UM-2 and UM-7; treatment 3, 14% RPS, no antibiotics (RPS); treatment 4, 14% RPS plus a 50:50 mixture of probiotic E. coli strains UM-2 and UM-7, no antibiotics (PRO-RPS). The pigs were challenged with pathogenic E. coli K88 strains on day 7 of the experiment (24-day-old pigs) and euthanized on day 10 of the experiment (35-day-old pigs). Probiotic and pathogenic E. coli strains were enumerated by selective enrichment on antibiotics, and microbial community analysis was conducted using terminal restriction length polymorphism analysis (T-RFLP) of 16S rRNA genes. The combination of raw potato starch and the probiotic had a beneficial effect on piglet growth performance and resulted in a reduction of diarrhea and increased microbial diversity in the gut. We conclude that the use of E. coli probiotic strains against E. coli K88 in the presence of raw potato starch is effective in reducing the negative effects of ETEC in a piglet challenge model.